NBC’s Savannah Guthrie grilled former Attorney General Bill Barr on why he waited so long to speak out with his concerns about former President Donald Trump.
Barr appeared on the Today show to promote his memoir One Damn Thing After Another, wherein he shoots down Donald Trump’s election “bullsh*t,” calls out the former president’s “erratic behavior,” and deems Trump personally responsible for the January 6th Capitol riot. After brushing off Trump’s latest “tantrum” against him as “childish,” Barr was asked why he has chosen to speak against Trump now.
“I was pretty content with the administration until the election,” Barr explained. “But after the election, he went off the rails.”
Guthrie asked Barr what he would say to those who would write off his book as a “rehab tour” for his public image. His answer:
I don’t really care what people think about me, and I think that was one of the reasons I was persuaded to take the attorney general job. Because I wasn’t looking for anything. I don’t have a future career. I’m retired. and I felt i could just call them as I see them. And anyone who tries to win the approval of others is going to be compromised very quickly.
Since Trump and other Republicans continue to run with the false claim that the 2020 election was illegitimate, Guthrie asked Barr to emphatically say “did the president lose the election, or was it stolen or rigged by massive fraud?”
“The votes reflected the decision of the people,” Barr replied. He proceeded to explain how “there was no evidence” that the election was invalid, and he bashed Trump’s “nonsense” claims while assessing why the former president lost.
“You look at the vote, the actual vote, and there is no mystery as to why he lost. He lost for the reason he was told for the whole year he was going to lose, which is he alienated Independents and Republican voters in the suburbs. That is why he lost.”
After Barr recalled the explosive encounter he had with Trump before tending his resignation, Guthrie turned to a portion of his book where Barr says the former president was moving “beyond restraint” and “I felt Trump had taken a dangerous turn since the election.”
“Why didn’t you speak out more forcefully, right then and there, having told the president it’s BS?” Guthrie asked. “Why didn’t you say more right then and there to the American people about it?”
Barr claimed that he took that position when he dismissed Trump’s fraud allegations to the press, though Guthrie pointed out “You said there is no evidence of widespread fraud. You didn’t say I think the president is dangerous.” She kept on this topic by asking Barr why he didn’t speak to any of this when he made his resignation public.
“As you remember, there was basically an allegation du jour,” said Barr. “It was like playing Whack-A-Mole…”
“Yeah, but does that letter really reflect the spirit of what you knew to be true? It’s dangerous and it’s BS,” Guthrie countered.
Guthrie then turned to a portion of Barr’s book where he said he had national security concerns and was worried about the peaceful transition of power.
“None of this is present in this resignation letter,” she said. “Didn’t the American people deserve to know what you knew?”
Barr argued that he resigned on December 14th since the election effectively over when the states certified their results.
“The idea that something could be done later on January 6 was nonsense,” he said. After Barr condemned Trump for inciting the storming of the U.S. Capitol, Guthrie brought up a series of comments Barr made to the Chicago Tribune where he scoffed at liberals who were afraid Trump would attempt to seize power.
“Did you underestimate the length that the president was willing to go to?” Guthrie asked.
“Yes,” Barr answered. “I thought it was a farce because there was no substance to it. There was no legal support for it.”
The interview continued with Barr being interrogated for his handling of Robert Mueller’s investigation, and whether he would vote for Trump if Republicans nominate him for president again. He said that despite his criticisms of Trump, he would vote for him if he were the nominee in 2024.
Watch above, via NBC.
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