Trump called AG Bill Barr a 'phony' who would 'lick the floor if I asked him to,' book says
- Trump called AG
Bill Barra "phony" and said he would "lick the floor if I asked him to," a new book says.
- Trump went on the warpath against Barr after Barr refused to back his election conspiracy theories.
- "This is bulls--- ... Has he just been sitting over there doing absolutely f---ing nothing for a month?" Trump reportedly said of Barr.
In the weeks after he lost the
"Why won't Barr investigate the fraud ... and the machines?" Trump ranted at his aides, according to the book, an early copy of which was obtained by Insider. "Where is Barr? ... Why doesn't he ever do anything? ... When are we going to see something? ... Was [former Attorney General] Jeff Sessions even this slow?"
Trump also appeared to acknowledge at one point that he had lost the election to Joe Biden, saying, "If I had won ... Barr would have licked the floor of I asked him to. What a phony!"
The president's anger toward the attorney general, whom he frequently called "my attorney general," reached a boiling point on December 1, when Barr told The Associated Press that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread fraud on a scale to affect the outcome of the election.
"Trump was livid," Wolff wrote. "There was no warning that the interview was even coming. It was, in Trump's eyes, not just insubordination, but insurrection."
Wolff reported the president then went on the warpath, saying, "This is bulls---. No fraud. Has he just been sitting over there doing absolutely f---ing nothing for a month?"
"We have to get rid of Barr," Trump reportedly told advisors including Jared Kushner, Mark Meadows, Pat Cipollone, and Eric Herschmann. "There's no coming back from this. Who can we put in there?"
Barr resigned less than two weeks later, and Jeffrey Rosen took over as acting attorney general.
But Trump had no better luck with Rosen who, according to internal emails that were recently released by the House Oversight Committee, had his own reservations about the president's conspiracy theories.
Near the end of Trump's presidency, Rosen grew so concerned by Trump and his aides' continued demands to investigate bogus fraud claims that he contemporaneously documented some of those requests. Law enforcement and intelligence officials use contemporaneous memos to detail their knowledge of significant or legally dubious interactions.
Trump, for his part, continues to insist that he was the rightful winner of the election. But nonpartisan election experts and cybersecurity officials have determined that, contrary to Trump's claims, the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in US history.
Wolff's previous reporting about the Trump White House drew scrutiny after journalists and fact-checkers found that some of the details in his first book about the administration didn't add up.
He defended the book, however, and said he stood by his reporting. He also said "Landslide" featured only episodes that Trump's staff had confirmed or that were backed up by multiple sources.
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