Washington, Jun 27 (EFE).- Former US Attorney General William Barr, who served in that capacity from February 2019 to December 2020 during the mandate of ex-President Donald Trump, called the latter’s claims of massive election fraud in the 2020 election “bullshit.”
The statement by the former AG is revealed in the book “Betrayal” – by the chief correspondent for ABC News in Washington DC, Jonathan Karl – to be published in November and from which The Atlantic magazine published an extract on Sunday.
In the book, which is based on a series of interviews with the former attorney general and his assistance, the author describes how Barr broke with Trump after the presidential election last November, which Democrat Joe Biden won.
Trump did not recognize Biden’s victory and has constantly claimed that election fraud denied him reelection, although he has consistently failed to provide any evidence of that.
Barr told Karl that at the time he doubted Trump’s claims. “My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” he said. “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 bullshit.”
“We realized from the beginning it was just bullshit,” said Barr,
He also said confirmed that the allegations by Trump and his supporters that the ballot-counting machines had been “rigged” to alter the vote in favor of Biden are not true.
Barr said that even if the voting machines had changed the tally in Biden’s favor somehow during the initial vote tabulation, that would have become obvious when the ballots were recounted by hand.
“It’s a counting machine, and they save everything that was counted,” Barr said. “So you just reconcile the two. There had been no discrepancy reported anywhere, and I’m still not aware of any discrepancy.”
Barr gave an interview last December to AP News in which he definitively broke with Trump, saying that he had not seen any fraud on a scale that could have affected the result of the election.
After the publication of Barr’s interview, he and Trump had an acrimonious meeting at the White House, where the president lambasted the AG, furiously demanding “How the f-ck could you do this to me? Why did you say it?”
Barr responded that he said it because it was true.
Trump then answered, according to Barr: “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.”
The former AG also said that Trump laid into him for not indicting Biden’s son, Hunter, for his business dealings in Ukraine.
Two weeks later, Barr presented his resignation to Trump, as the president was continuing to push the unfounded claim that election fraud had denied him a second term.
The book also reveals the pressure that then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, exerted on Barr to raise his voice against Trump’s voter fraud claims.
According to the former AG, McConnell said that Trump’s claims were harming the country and the Republican Party, along with the efforts of GOP candidates to win the Senate races in Georgia in January, races that were crucial to the party’s hopes to retain control of the Senate.
McConnell later confirmed Barr’s statements on that matter to Karl.
The GOP lost both those races, thus handing the Democrats a razor-thin majority in the upper house.