- Former Attorney General Bill Barr was interviewed for the first time since leaving office.
- He told NBC News that Donald Trump became enraged when he rejected his voter fraud claims.
- Barr has launched an attack on Trump in his new memoir about his time in office.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr said that Donald Trump flew into a rage when he told the former president that his claims the 2020 election was stolen from were “bullshit.”
In his first interview since leaving the government, Barr addressed the tumultuous final months of Trump’s presidency.
He discussed Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat to Joe Biden and his campaign to pressure Barr and other officials to back his groundless claims that the election had been stolen from him.
“I told him that all this stuff was bullshit … about election fraud. And, you know, it was wrong to be shoveling it out the way his team was,” Barr told NBC News’ Lester Holt in clips of an interview to be aired in full on Sunday.
—NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) March 4, 2022
In the interview, Barr addressed criticism that he had not stood up to Trump during his time as attorney general, pointing to his rejection of Trump’s election fraud claims.
He said that after he gave an interview to the Associated Press on December 1, 2020, in which he said the Justice Department had found no evidence to substantiate Trump’s voter fraud claims, Trump summoned him to his private dining room.
He said that Trump quizzed him about various conspiracy theories allies and aides were pushing, which spoke of a vast plot to deprive him of victory.
“He was asking about different theories, and I had the answers. I was able to tell him, ‘This was wrong because of this,'” Barr recounted. Trump listened, said Barr, but “he was obviously getting very angry about this.”
Barr said he told Trump: “I understand you’re upset with me. And I’m perfectly happy to tender my resignation.”
Barr said Trump then slapped his desk and said: “Accepted. Accepted.”
“And then — boom. He slapped it again. ‘Accepted. Go home. Don’t go back to your office. Go home. You’re done,'” he said.
Barr said that Trump had White House lawyers stop him before he exited the building reversing the decision and telling him he had in fact not been fired. Trump continued to publicly criticize him while keeping him in office.
Around two weeks later, on December 14, Barr handed in his resignation.
Since leaving office Trump has continued to push the election-fraud “Big Lie,” as he stirs rumors of another bid for the presidency in 2024.
Barr gave the interview to promote his new book about working for Trump, “One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General.” He has faced criticism for not speaking out while in office about Trump’s behavior, but instead saving the material for a book.