AG Bill Barr privately shot down Trump’s fraud allegations after publicly pushing election conspiracies for months, book reveals

Trump Barr
President Donald Trump stands with Attorney General William Barr during the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Washington.

  • Former AG Bill Barr privately shut down election fraud theories after pushing them for months.
  • Barr expertly explained voting machines and central-count systems to Trump in the wake of the election.
  • Barr, however, had floated a baseless conspiracy about foreign interference with mail voting throughout 2020.
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Attorney General William Barr forcefully shut down former President Donald Trump’s allegations of fraud in the wake of the 2020 election in private after months of publicly pushing election conspiracies of his own, a new book reveals.

A post-election conversation recounted in Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s forthcoming book “Peril” showcases Barr’s comprehensive knowledge of election administration and frustration with Trump’s outlandish theories and the lawyers pushing them.

Barr’s attitude stands in contrast with his own willingness just months earlier to float a baseless election fraud conspiracy, one that Trump would repeat all throughout 2020 in his quest to preemptively discredit the 2020 election.

In December 2020, Barr told Trump his claims of fraud were “bullshit” and he had a “clown show,” rather than a real legal team, according to both “Peril” and Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender’s book, “Frankly We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost.”

“Every self-respecting lawyer in the country has run for the hills. Your team is a bunch of clowns,” Barr said, according to “Peril,” telling Trump he had “wasted four weeks” on “demonstrably crazy” conspiracies about voting machines.

Barr then provided Trump with a step-by-step breakdown of how ballot scanners and vote tabulators simply speed up the process of counting paper ballots, a count that can then be affirmed through an audit or recount, the book said.

In every 2020 swing state, voters cast their votes on either hand-marked paper ballots or on a ballot-marking device that produced a paper ballot.

“If you take a stack of 20-dollar bills and you run them through a machine that counts them, it comes up and then puts a band around every thousand dollars. Now guess what? The law requires that the ballots be saved, just like the banded money would be saved. So if you say the machine hasn’t counted right, you just go to the money and see if that’s a thousand dollars,” Barr explained to Trump, adding that if the machine and hand counts match up, “I don’t want to hear all this stuff about, you know, how this functionality was this and this.”

Trump then queried Barr about fraud in Detroit, Michigan, where a big batch of ballots counted in the early morning hours had heavily favored Biden.

Barr, armed with election statistics, pointed out that Trump had actually earned a higher share of the vote in Wayne County in 2020 than he had that in 2016.

“Well, there were boxes,” Trump continued to press Barr, “People saw the boxes.”

Barr then provided Trump with a detailed explanation of how, unlike other Michigan counties, Detroit officials count ballots not in individual voting precincts but at a central counting location in the city.

“And so, all night these boxes are moved in. And so the fact that boxes are going into the counting station in the early morning hours is not suspicious. That’s what they do,” Barr told Trump, per the book. “The votes always come in at that time and the ratio of votes is the same as it was last time. There’s no indication of a sudden surge of extra Biden votes.”

When Trump then turned to Fulton County, Georgia, Barr told him that the DOJ was “looking into this stuff, but these things aren’t panning out.”

Barr spent months promoting a baseless and highly implausible conspiracy theory that foreign adversaries were going to flood the US election system with fake mail-in ballots.

Barr initially floated the theory in June, telling The New York Times the idea was “one of the issues that I’m real worried about,” claiming that “there are a number of foreign countries that could easily make counterfeit ballots, put names on them, send them in. And it’d be very hard to sort out what’s happening.”

Barr then doubled down on the theory in a September television interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, admitting he had no evidence to back it up and saying he was basing the theory “on logic.”

As puzzled election experts pointed out, however, ballot box stuffing is one of the most easily detectable forms of election fraud to election officials, thus making it one of the most labor-intensive but least efficient ways for a foreign adversary to try to sway a US election.

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Barr warned Trump that supporting a GOP-led Supreme Court case against Obamacare would be a ‘fucking loser for you,’ book says

Trump/Barr
Trump makes a statement with Attorney General William Barr in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 11, 2019 in Washington, DC.

  • AG Barr tried to convince Trump not to join a Supreme Court lawsuit last year challenging Obamacare, a new book says.
  • The suit was brought by 18 Republican attorneys general and was widely panned as far-fetched.
  • Barr is quoted as calling the case “a fucking loser,” adding, “It’s hard not to laugh at our argument.”
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Then-Attorney General William Barr warned then-President Donald Trump in May 2020 that the GOP’s latest attempt before the Supreme Court to get rid of Obamacare would be “a fucking loser for you.”

That’s according to “Peril,” a forthcoming book by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, an early copy of which was obtained by Insider. The book is set to be released next week.

The book said that Barr made the comment during a White House meeting with Trump and his senior-most policy and legal advisors. The president wanted the Justice Department to join a lawsuit brought by 18 Republican state attorneys general arguing that the Affordable Care Act should be struck down.

At the crux of the lawsuit was the claim that because Congress had rendered a core provision of the law known as the “individual mandate” – that people buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty – moot by reducing the penalty to zero, the entire law should be killed.

When Trump expressed interest in the federal government joining the lawsuit, Barr reportedly stepped in.

“Mr. President, this case is not going to win. You’re going to be lucky to get anything better than 9-0 on this,” the attorney general said, according to the book. At the time, the Supreme Court was made up of five conservative and four liberal justices. Two of the conservatives, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were Trump appointees.

Barr continued to press his point, adding that Trump could suffer a significant political loss by joining the case.

“Mr. President, this is an election year,” he said, according to the book. “The liberals on the Supreme Court voted to hear this case because they realize this is a fucking loser for you. We’re in the middle of a COVID epidemic. And you are now creating uncertainty as to people’s medical coverage. And you haven’t put up a substitute and we’re going to lose the case.”

But Trump insisted that he needed to “be with Texas” because “that is my base,” the book said. Barr pushed back again, saying that Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general leading the case, “has his constituency. You have your constituency. I don’t see outsourcing our policy to the fucking state of Texas.”

Trump’s senior counselor, Kellyanne Conway, also reportedly stepped in to sway Trump’s decision, saying that the case was a “loser” that “doesn’t help you.” She also added that Republicans lost their House majority in 2018 in part because of their stance on Obamacare and universal healthcare.

“Mr. President,” Barr reportedly said, “this case sucks. It’s hard not to laugh at our argument.”

But Trump was undeterred and the Justice Department joined the lawsuit. In June, the Supreme Court dismissed the legal challenge, California v. Texas, in a 7-2 vote. Kavanaugh and Trump’s latest appointee, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who joined the court after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last September, voted in the majority. Justices Samuel Alito and Gorsuch dissented.

The nation’s high court argued that the GOP-led lawsuit lacked standing, preserving health care coverage for millions of Americans. It was the third time the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act since the law was enacted in 2010.

Republicans had long been hostile to former President Barack Obama’s legacy achievement. Trump had campaigned on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a new health care law, yet in his four years in office, he failed to do so.

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Barr warned Trump that he would lose the election because suburban voters ‘just think you’re a fucking asshole,’ book says

Trump Barr
President Donald Trump stands with Attorney General William Barr during the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Washington.

  • Barr cautioned Trump in April 2020 that he was risking his reelection chances, a new book says.
  • He told Trump suburban GOP voters thought he was an “asshole” and didn’t care about his “fucking grievances.”
  • “The main problem,” Barr reportedly added, “is you think you’re a fucking genius, politically.”
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Attorney General Bill Barr took a blunt approach with President Donald Trump in April 2020 while discussing his reelection chances.

The crux of the problem, Barr told Trump, was that most suburban Republican voters “just think you’re a fucking asshole.” That’s according to a new book by authors Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

Insider obtained an early copy of “Peril,” which is set to be released next week.

“In my opinion,” Barr told Trump during a tense Oval Office meeting, according to the book, “this is not a base election. Your base is critical, and you’ll get it out. And there are a lot of people out there, independents and Republicans in the suburbs of the critical states that think you’re an asshole. They think you act like an asshole and you got to, you got to start taking that into account.”

The attorney general went on to tell the president that he had become a Beltway “captive” and needed to appeal to a broader group of voters than just his diehard base, the book said.

Barr is said to have debated how best to approach the conversation with Trump last year, while the US was grappling with a deadly and widespread pandemic and as the president refused to acknowledge the reality of the threat.

According to “Peril,” he decided the best option was to be direct and told Trump that with the way he was handling things, “you’re going to lose” the election.

The conversation came at a delicate time for Barr himself, who found himself in the doghouse last year because an internal Justice Department investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation was coming up empty and had found no evidence of wrongdoing by senior DOJ and FBI officials. The lack of bombshell developments infuriated the president, who had long insisted that the Russia probe was part of a so called “deep state” effort to sink his presidency.

Barr reportedly addressed those frustrations, telling Trump that suburban Republican voters “don’t give a shit” about Trump’s vendetta against his perceived foes.

“Your base cares about seeing [former FBI director James Comey] and the rest of those guys held accountable, but these other people don’t,” Barr said, according to the book. “They don’t care about your fucking grievances. And it just seems that every time you’re out there, you’re talking about your goddamn grievances.”

Barr advised Trump to focus more on the US’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic recovery, “not all this other shit, not every grievance you have,” the book said. But Trump refused to back down, saying, “I need to be a fighter. I’ve gotten where I am because I’m willing to fight.”

The attorney general was one of several top administration officials who worked to steer Trump in a different direction before the election and tried to stave off a political and national security crisis after Trump lost to Joe Biden.

According to the book, Barr grew so frustrated with Trump’s nonsense conspiracy theories about voter fraud that he confronted the president on November 23 and told him his claims were “bullshit.”

Trump’s anger with Barr reached a boiling point when, a week later, the attorney general told reporters that the DOJ had not found evidence of voter fraud on a scale that would tip the election results in Trump’s favor. Shortly after, Barr resigned from office.

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Bill Barr told Trump his voter fraud claims after the election were ‘bullshit’: book

Trump/Barr
Trump and Bill Barr.

  • Multiple cabinet officials tried in vain to get Trump to accept that he lost the election, a new book reports.
  • Bill Barr directly confronted Trump and told him his claims of voter fraud were “bullshit.”
  • Barr was one of several top officials who expressed deep alarm over Trump’s erratic behavior post-election.
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In the days and weeks after the 2020 election, as President Donald Trump refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, some members of his own cabinet were forced to take a more blunt approach to get him to accept reality.

In one case, then Attorney General Bill Barr confronted Trump directly, telling him on November 23 that there was no widespread voter fraud in the election: “The problem is this stuff about the voting machines is just bullshit.”

That’s according to “Peril,” by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, an early copy of which was obtained by CNN.

Barr was one of several cabinet members who tried in vain to get through to the president. Despite their best efforts, as well as entreaties from Republican members of Congress to accept the results of the election, Trump continued insisting the race was “rigged” and stolen from him.

Trump’s frustration with Barr in particular reached a boiling point when the attorney general told reporters a few days later that the Justice Department had not found evidence of widespread voter fraud on a level that would change the results of the election. Barr resigned two weeks later, and Trump replaced him with Jeff Rosen.

Emails and documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee revealed that Rosen and his top deputy, Richard Donoghue, were also deeply concerned by Trump’s conspiracy theories about the election and had to thwart multiple attempts by Trump and his loyalists to stop states from certifying Biden’s victory.

Their concerns were shared by other top officials in the administration, like Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was so alarmed by Trump’s actions after the election that he thought the president was suffering a mental decline, Woodward and Costa reported.

Then-CIA director Gina Haspel also expressed fears about the effect that Trump’s election lies could have, telling Milley at one point that she believed the US was “on the way to a right-wing coup,” the book said, according to The Post.

After a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in a failed – and deadly – effort to halt the certification of Biden’s victory, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got on the phone with Milley and told him Trump was “crazy,” according to the book. Milley responded: “I agree with you on everything.”

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Trump started speaking in the third person during a heated discussion with Bill Barr regarding the election results, book says

Trump Barr
President Donald Trump stands with Attorney General William Barr during the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Washington.

  • Trump spoke in the third person during a heated discussion with Bill Barr over voter fraud, per a new book.
  • Trump was incensed that Barr dismissed claims of mass voter irregularities during an AP interview.
  • Barr eventually resigned from his post just weeks after the AP interview.
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Last December, then-Attorney General Bill Barr sat down with Associated Press reporter Michael Balsamo, where he essentially rejected then-President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Barr said that the Department of Justice had looked into credible claims of fraud, but notably revealed that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”

After the interview, Barr then headed to the White House for a previously scheduled meeting with chief of staff Mark Meadows, where he was told by Meadows that Trump would be “livid” at the election-related statements from the interview, according to a new book by Washington Post reporters Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

Barr was told by White House counsel Pat Cipollone that Trump wanted to see him in his private dining room, where the president was watching the right-leaning One America News Network (OANN).

The scene was tense, as “everything about the president telegraphed that he was in a barely contained rage,” and even resulted in him switching to the third person, which Leonnig and Rucker detailed in “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.”

Trump immediately questioned Barr about the Associated Press interview, where he threw cold water on the president’s ongoing voter-fraud claims.

Read more: Where is Trump’s White House staff now? We created a searchable database of more than 327 top staffers to show where they all landed

“Bill did, you say this?” Trump asked in a “sharp and quick” manner, according to the book.

After Barr confirmed that he had indeed made the statement, Trump questioned him again.

“How could you say this?” Trump said, according to the book. “Why didn’t you just not answer the question?”

The president raised his voice and peculiarly began to speak in the third person.

“There’s no reason for you to have said this!” he said, according to the book. “You must hate Trump!”

With OANN in the background, Trump “started yelling” and “was so angry his words came out like spit,” according to the book.

Trump then pointed to the television screen, as OANN was discussing election conspiracies that Pennsylvania backdated late-arriving ballots, as well as allegations that Fulton County, Georgia, illegally added ballots to their tally. Barr told Trump that the Justice Department reviewed the claims and found no evidence that such events occurred.

“We’ve looked into these things and they’re nonsense,” Barr said, according to the book.

After the back-and-forth, Barr reiterated to Trump that there was simply no evidence to support the most prominent allegations.

“Mr. President, I’m not up here to say there was no fraud,” the attorney general said at the time, according to the book. “There may very well have been fraud. I suspect there was fraud, maybe more than usual. But there’s no evidence of substantial fraud that would change the election, and your problem is you have five weeks. The reason you’re sitting where you are today is because you had five weeks for your lawyers to mount a strategy … whereby you can turn around the election.”

While Trump continued to act in an “explosive and crazed” manner, Barr sought to remain “calm and deliberate,” according to the book.

Nearly two weeks later, Trump announced that Barr would be departing the administration shortly before Christmas, lauding the attorney general for doing “an outstanding job.”

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Trump called Barr ‘a disappointment in every sense of the word’ after a new book said he called Trump’s election-fraud claims ‘bulls—‘

Trump/Barr
Former President Donald Trump and former Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House.

  • A new book excerpt said former Trump AG Bill Barr called Trump’s election-fraud claims “bulls—.”
  • Trump hit back in a Sunday night statement, calling Barr “a disappointment in every sense of the word.”
  • He also said “Barr, who was Attorney General (lawyer) shouldn’t be speaking about the President.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump called his attorney general Bill Barr “a disappointment in every sense of the word” after a book excerpt said that Barr dismissed his election-fraud claims.

Trump said in a Sunday statement, according to The Hill: “Bill Barr was a disappointment in every sense of the word.”

“Besides which, Barr, who was Attorney General (lawyer) shouldn’t be speaking about the President.”

In his forthcoming book, “Betrayal,” ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl reported that Barr called Trump’s bogus election-fraud claims “bulls—.”

According to the book, Trump was also furious after Barr told the Associated Press that the Justice Department had not found any evidence of widespread voter fraud, and told Barr: “How the f— could you do this to me? Why did you say it?”

Barr resigned as Attorney General in mid-December with a letter that praised Trump.

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Mitch McConnell stayed silent on election fraud claims while quietly pleading with Bill Barr to speak out against them, book says

Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters as Senate Republican leaders hold a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 1, 2020.

  • For weeks after the election, Mitch McConnell stayed silent on Trump’s election fraud claims.
  • At the same time, he pleaded with Bill Barr to speak out against them, according to a new book by ABC’s Jonathan Karl.
  • McConnell thought speaking out could risk upsetting Trump and hurt GOP chances in the Senate runoff.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Last fall, when President Donald Trump was spreading unsubstantiated claims about widespread election fraud, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was urging Attorney General Bill Barr to speak out against them, according to a forthcoming book by ABC News Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl.

Meanwhile, McConnell said nothing publicly to rebuke the president’s claims.

Barr told Karl that McConnell said he believed Trump’s claims were damaging to the GOP and to the US, but that he couldn’t speak out for political reasons.

“Look, we need the president in Georgia,” McConnell told Barr, in reference to the upcoming runoff election that would determine control of the Senate. “And so we cannot be frontally attacking him right now. But you’re in a better position to inject some reality into this situation. You are really the only one who can do it.”

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

According to Karl, McConnell thought the most effective message to win the Senate seats was to argue that because Joe Biden would be president, Republicans needed control of the Senate. But he felt he couldn’t acknowledge Biden’s win without upsetting Trump and risking the GOP Senate campaigns.

Karl said McConnell confirmed Barr’s account of the conversations.

After Barr told McConnell he was waiting for the right time to speak out, McConnell called him again and pleaded with him to dismiss the fraud claims, saying “you are the only person who can do it,” Karl reported.

The exchange was described in an excerpt of the book “Betrayal” that was published in The Atlantic on Sunday. The book is set for release in November.

As Barr and McConnell reportedly had these conversations, McConnell himself would not speak out against the fraud claims. Instead, he chose to point out that the president had the right to pursue legal challenges.

Not until December 15, two weeks after Barr publicly said the Justice Department uncovered no evidence of widespread fraud, did McConnell acknowledge Biden’s win. And on January 19, when McConnell blamed Trump for the Capitol riot, he acknowledged there was not any evidence for the widespread claims of fraud.

Republicans ended up losing the two Senate seats in Georgia when Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock pulled off wins against GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

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Trump asked Bill Barr ‘How the f— could you do this to me?’ after he told AP there was no evidence of widespread election fraud, book says

Trump Barr
President Donald Trump stands with Attorney General William Barr during the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Washington.

  • In December, Bill Barr broke from Trump and said there was no evidence of widespread election fraud.
  • Trump was livid with Barr, according to a new book by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl.
  • “How the f— could you do this to me? Why did you say it?” Trump asked Barr.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In December, after Attorney General Bill Barr told The Associated Press the Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud, President Donald Trump was livid, according to a forthcoming book by ABC News Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl.

“How the f— could you do this to me? Why did you say it?” Trump asked Barr, who up to that point had been considered a staunch ally of the president.

When Barr responded “because it’s true,” Trump said: “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.”

The exchange was described in an excerpt of the book “Betrayal” that was published in The Atlantic on Sunday. The book is set for release in November.

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

The AP story on Barr’s comment came after weeks of Trump spreading unsubstantiated claims of fraud that were going largely unchecked by some in Republican leadership and others in the administration.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told AP.

Barr told Karl that he had expected Trump to lose the election, but that he looked into claims of fraud because he knew Trump would ask him about it. Shortly after the election, he told prosecutors in the Justice Department to investigate substantial allegations of fraud, diverging from long-standing agency policy.

Barr himself also looked into some of the biggest claims that were being made about fraud in the election, according to Karl.

“If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it,” Barr told Karl. “But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bulls—.”

After Trump confronted Barr about his comments to the AP, the attorney general left the meeting unsure if he still had a job, according to Karl. But Barr stayed with the administration for a couple more weeks while Trump continued to contradict him and repeat the fraud claims.

Barr resigned in mid-December with a resignation letter that profusely praised the president.

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Former Attorney General Bill Barr called Trump’s false election claims ‘bullsh–‘: book

bill barr
US Attorney General Bill Barr is pictured on October 15, 2020.

  • In a forthcoming book, the ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl chronicles the final days of the Trump administration.
  • According to the book, Bill Barr reportedly blasted Trump’s false election claims as ‘bullsh–.’
  • Mitch McConnell reportedly pleaded with Barr to speak out against Trump’s voter fraud claims.
  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

Former Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly blasted former President Donald Trump’s debunked election claims as “bullsh–,” according to a forthcoming book by ABC News Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl.

Barr’s response to the aftermath of the highly contentious 2020 presidential campaign was detailed in an excerpt of the book “Betrayal,” published in The Atlantic on Sunday.

The interview offers critical insight into Barr’s relationship with Trump after the election and provides a stunning look at the then-attorney general’s line of thinking regarding the former president’s false election claims.

The former attorney general, who reportedly told Karl that he foresaw a Trump election loss, knew that the former president would approach him about allegations of voter fraud.

According to Karl, Barr “wanted to be able to say that he had looked into” the allegations and prove that the claims were “unfounded.”

He added: “In addition to giving prosecutors approval to open investigations into clear and credible allegations of substantial fraud, Barr began his own, unofficial inquiry into the major claims that the president and his allies were making.”

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

In an interview with Karl, Barr was incredibly blunt in his assessment of Trump’s litany of fraud allegations.

“My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Barr told Karl. “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullsh–.”

Barr reportedly told Karl that the claims of voting machines being “rigged” to switch votes from Trump to Biden were untrue.

“We realized from the beginning it was just bull—,” Barr told Karl. “It’s a counting machine, and they save everything that was counted. So you just reconcile the two. There had been no discrepancy reported anywhere, and I’m still not aware of any discrepancy.”

In the interview, Barr also detailed how then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky pleaded with him to rebuke Trump’s false election claims.

McConnell was reportedly concerned about the nationwide fallout from Trump’s allegations, as well as the effect that the complaints would have on the January 2021 Georgia US Senate runoff elections. (Then-Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler were eventually defeated by Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively.)

According to the excerpt, McConnell confirmed Barr’s account.

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Rep. Ted Lieu calls Catholic bishops ‘hypocrites’ for trying to deny Biden Communion over abortion stance while ignoring Bill Barr’s death penalty push

Ted Lieu
Rep. Ted Lieu questions Intelligence Committee Minority Counsel Stephen Castor and Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman during House impeachment inquiry hearings before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill December 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.

  • Catholic Bishops advanced a document that could bar Biden from Communion over his support for abortion rights.
  • Rep. Ted Lieu, a Catholic, called the Bishops “hypocrites” and “nakedly partisan” for the move.
  • He drew a comparison to Bill Barr, another Catholic, who pushed the death penalty, which is also at odds with the Church.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California lashed out at US Catholic Bishops on Friday after they voted in favor of advancing a document that could block President Joe Biden from receiving Communion due to his stance on abortion.

The bishops overwhelming voted to advance the drafting of a “teaching document” that would admonish public figures who support abortion rights, with 74% voting in favor. Some hope the guidance will limit or deny Biden and other Catholics who support abortion rights from receiving Communion.

Lieu, who is also Catholic, called the bishops “nakedly partisan” and “hypocrites” over the move, drawing a comparison to another prominent Catholic in politics that has pushed agendas that run counter to the Catholic Church’s teachings.

Read more: Biden loves going to church but his abortion stance could hurt his chances of receiving Communion

“Dear @USCCB: I’m Catholic and you are hypocrites. You did not tell Bill Barr, a Catholic, not to take communion when he expanded killing human beings with the death penalty. You are being nakedly partisan and you should be ashamed. Another reason you are losing membership,” Lieu said in a tweet.

As attorney general during the Trump administration, Bill Barr directed the reinstatement of the federal death penalty after a 16 year pause.

“The Justice Department upholds the rule of law – and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system,” Barr, a Catholic, said at the time.

Barr’s Justice Department also rushed through a flurry of executions during Trump’s final months in office, with more executions conducted under Trump than any president in at least a century.

But the Catholic Church has taken a firm stance against capital punishment. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the same group advancing the Biden abortion issue, has called for the end of the death penalty in the US for decades.

In multiple tweets, Lieu also pointed out other issues at odds with the church that have not been used as a means to formally deny Catholic politicians communion, including contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage, and fertility treatment.

After saying he is Catholic and supports these issues, he said: “Next time I go to Church, I dare you to deny me Communion.”

In another tweet, he said the Catholic Bishops “should be deeply ashamed for politically weaponizing the sacred sacrament of Communion.”

Biden, the second Catholic person to be president after John F. Kennedy, is a practicing Catholic who often attends mass and discusses his faith. He has said he is personally opposed to abortion, but that he does not feel that view should be forced on others. In recent years he has become a stronger supporter of abortion rights.

Biden has been denied communion at least once before in 2019 due do his stance on abortion. He declined to comment on the Catholic Bishop’s recent actions, calling it a “private matter” and saying he does not think it will happen.

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