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Former AG Bill Barr says Donald Trump is ‘not my idea of a president’


Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said he did not believe Donald Trump would win a 2022 presidential election bid because he’s petty and divisive, and that his former boss is not his pick for commander-in-chief. 

Barr, 71, criticized the former president during an interview with CNN‘s Jake Tapper on Friday, admitting that he knew Trump was going to lose in 2020 because of his temper. 

‘He’s not my idea of a president,’ Barr said. ‘I felt he was going to lose the election because he was not controlling himself. 

‘He was allowing this pettiness to come through, and I feel it’s one of his great failings.’ 

He added that while he believed Republicans could win the presidency in 2024, it could only be accomplished without Trump. 

‘I think the Republicans can win a decisive majority, but I don’t think we can do it with Trump,’ he said. ‘He’s just too divisive a candidate.’

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Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said Donald Trump is ‘not my idea of a president,’ and would lose a 2024  presidential election bid

Barr criticized Trump (left) for being 'petty' and letting his temper take control. Barr said the Republican party could lose its change of winning the presidency if Trump is their candidate

Barr criticized Trump (left) for being ‘petty’ and letting his temper take control. Barr said the Republican party could lose its change of winning the presidency if Trump is their candidate

Barr also condemned Trumps claims that the 2020 election was stolen and said he knew the former president would lose because 'he was not controlling himself'

Barr also condemned Trumps claims that the 2020 election was stolen and said he knew the former president would lose because ‘he was not controlling himself’

Barr’s comments come after he published his memoir, ‘One Damn Thing After Another,’ earlier this week, in which he described Trump’s behavior as ‘erratic and manic.’ 

The former AG noted that while many saw Trump as a strong candidate, his behavior has become something to put up with rather than celebrate. 

‘I think a lot of people agree with his policies. They like his strength and his directness,’ Barr said, ‘But to the extent they support them, it’s despite these – this kind of obnoxious behavior, it’s not because of it.’  

Although Barr has said he would support Republicans who challenge Trump, he said he would ultimately back his former boss if he wins the GOP nomination. 

He also stood by unsubstantiated claims that mail voting was vulnerable to fraud in the 2020 presidential elections while also continuing to condemn the claims Trump made about the election being stolen by rampant voter fraud. 

Barr went on to discuss an episode at the White House during a protest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, where the president yelled at his staff, yelling ‘You’re all losers,’ as he was fed up with the protests and violence going on in the U.S. 

In response to the interview, Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington told CNN that ‘it’s not surprising Barr would try to work against the will of the people, that’s what he did in 2020.’ 

Although Barr has said he would support Republicans who challenge Trump (above), he said he would ultimately back his former boss if he wins the GOP nomination

Although Barr has said he would support Republicans who challenge Trump (above), he said he would ultimately back his former boss if he wins the GOP nomination

During the CNN interview, Barr recounted an episode where Trump snapped at his staff over the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd's murder

During the CNN interview, Barr recounted an episode where Trump snapped at his staff over the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder

In his memoir, Barr makes the case for why he does not believe Trump should be allowed to run for president again in 2024

In his memoir, Barr makes the case for why he does not believe Trump should be allowed to run for president again in 2024 

Friday’s interview is the latest row between the two after Barr said he holds Trump ‘morally responsible’ for the January 6 riot but would not prosecute him if he were still the attorney general. 

In a wide-ranging interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt, which aired in full on Sunday night, Barr dished on his last days in office and the debunked claim that the presidential election was fraudulent.

‘I do think he was responsible in the broad sense of that word, in that it appears that part of the plan was to send this group up to the Hill,’ Barr told Holt in an interview promoting the former AG’s new memoir. ‘I think the whole idea was to intimidate Congress. And I think that that was wrong.’

But Barr would not prosecute Trump if he were still the top law enforcement official in the U.S.

‘I haven’t seen anything to say he was legally responsible for it in terms of incitement,’ he told NBC News.

The National Archives and Records Administration recently discovered that Trump had taken home 15 boxes of classified records, but Barr shrugged it off when asked if the former AG would prosecute him for that.

‘To tell you the truth, I probably wouldn’t,’ Barr said. ‘The whole classification system is done under executive order. It’s the president. The president decides everything.’ 

In an excerpt of the memoir, Barr recalled the dramatic moment when former President Trump slammed his hand on his desk and ordered him to go home without delay after he disputed election fraud claims.

During a tense meeting with Trump in the White House, Barr told him: ‘Our mission is to investigate and prosecute actual fraud. The fact is, we have looked at the major claims your people are making, and they are bullsh***.’

Barr told The Associated Press that the Justice Department had investigated the claims but found no wide-spread issues that would overturn the outcome. 

‘But you did not have to say that!’ Trump barked, according to Barr. ‘You could have just said, ”No comment.” This is killing me – killing me. This is pulling the rug out from under me.”’ 

The president then said, speaking in the third person, ‘You must hate Trump. You would only do this if you hate Trump.’ 

Barr resigned his post shortly before Christmas in 2020, just weeks before the end of Trump’s term – in an event that has since been revealed to be a sign of inner White House turmoil over Trump’s efforts to push his fraud claims even after they were thrown out of a succession of courts.  

‘And, you know, it was wrong to be shoveling it out the way his team was. And he started asking me about different theories. And I had the answers. I was able to tell him, ‘This is wrong because of this,’ Barr said.

The president got angrier and angrier as he spoke.

‘I said, Okay, well, look, I understand you’re upset with me. And I’m perfectly happy to tender my resignation,’ Barr recalled telling the ex-president.

In an interview earlier this week with NBC's Lester Holt in an interview, Barr said he holds Trump 'morally responsible' for the January 6 riot

In an interview earlier this week with NBC’s Lester Holt in an interview, Barr said he holds Trump ‘morally responsible’ for the January 6 riot

That prompted a furious outburst from Trump, Barr told Holt.

‘And then, boom! He slapped the desk, and he said, ‘Accepted!’ Accepted!”

‘And then, boom! He slapped it again,’ Barr said, slapping his own hand for emphasis. ‘Accepted! Go home. Don’t go back to your office. Go home. You’re done.,’ he says Trump told him.

The former president told NBC News that he fired Barr for not doing the job of AG properly and called him ‘lazy’ and a ‘coward.’

‘Former Attorney General Bill Barr wouldn’t know voter fraud if it was staring him in the face – and it was,’ Trump said in a statement on Friday evening.

‘The fact is, he was weak, ineffective, and totally scared of being impeached, which the Democrats were constantly threatening to do. They ”broke” him.’ 





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