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Last night, former President Donald Trump held his first major rally of the year. The event is part of what will be an ongoing series of rallies held to bolster primary challenges to Republicans that Trump opposes. In this case, it was Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in the crosshairs, with the former president endorsing Max Miller.
While that was going on, though, former Attorney General Bill Barr was sitting down with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl. In regards to the 2020 election, Barr’s answer left no doubt that he was firmly exiting Trump’s orbit.
In weeks after election, President Trump claimed massive voting fraud. AG William Barr informally investigated. Didn't find it. 'My suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there,' Barr tells @jonkarl. 'It was all bullshit.' https://t.co/1DYgewTYLJ pic.twitter.com/XoYilsTmPX
— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 27, 2021
This is obviously not going to sit well with a lot of Republicans nor is this going to give them confidence that Barr did everything he could to root out FBI and DOJ corruption while serving in his position as attorney general. After all, the much-ballyhooed Durham investigation continues to go absolutely nowhere while people that allegedly committed crimes spend their time on CNN blasting out political partisanship (i.e. Andrew McCabe).
With that said, let me take what Barr is doing here in two parts.
Let’s start with the fact that he’s sitting down to give takes like this to Jonathan Karl, an absolute hack of a “reporter” who spends his days trashing Republicans on Twitter. Let’s say that what Barr is saying here is defensible (we’ll get to that in a minute). There’s still no reason to run to one of the enemy’s chief stenographers to drop hot takes like this. And yes, Karl and his network savaged Bill Barr while he was serving in the Trump administration.
What this does is further the sense for many Republicans that the game is all rigged. If a network treated me with absolute disrespect and hysteria, lied about me continually, and attempted to destroy me, I wouldn’t be giving interviews to them after the fact. That’s just insane, and it makes everything going on in Washington seem purely performative. Democrats always hold grudges and play for keeps. Meanwhile, Republicans still run to The Washington Post, ABC News, etc. to get backslaps. It’s unseemly and pathetic.
Now, as to what Barr is actually saying, how mad one gets about it is going to be in the eye of the beholder. There is an audit still going on in Arizona, and if something is found that’s substantial, that could obviously change a lot of opinions. But absent direct evidence of voter fraud to the extent that it flipped the election in the three states that ultimately kept Trump from victory, others are simply going to take Barr’s view of things.
Regardless, there are much better ways to share an opinion than how Barr went about it here.