Former Attorney General William Barr reportedly pushed back strongly on President Trump when discussing claims the president was circulating about the election being “stolen” from him.
Barr, during a meeting with Trump at the White House in early December, told the president that such theories of a stolen election were “bullshit,” Axios reported Monday.
Other aides in the room, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone, were reportedly surprised that the attorney general had made the comment, though did not disagree with his remarks.
The meeting came as Barr had publicly undercut the president’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, telling The Associated Press that the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence to back up the claims.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr had told the AP in the interview.
Trump reportedly confronted Barr about his comments while in the private dining room next to the Oval Office.
“Why would you say such a thing? You must hate Trump. There’s no other reason for it. You must hate Trump,” the president asserted, according to Axios.
Barr responded that “these things aren’t panning out” and “the stuff that these people are filling your ear with just isn’t true,” Axios reported. The attorney general reportedly emphasized that the DOJ had reviewed the major claims put forward by the president’s lawyers.
Trump announced almost two weeks later, on Dec. 14, that Barr would step down from his position in the Trump administration, leaving roughly a month before President-elect Joe Biden would enter office. Trump praised Barr for doing an “outstanding job” and said they had a “very good” relationship.
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