Barr Had A Rough Meeting With Trump After AG Couldn’t Back Unfounded Fraud Claims

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23:  U.S. Attorney General William Barr (L), listens to U.S. President Donald Trump speak at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. With the nu... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23:  U.S. Attorney General William Barr (L), listens to U.S. President Donald Trump speak at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. With the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus rising and foreseeable economic turmoil, the U.S. Congress continues to work on legislation for the nearly $2 trillion dollar aid package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 3, 2020 11:25 a.m.

Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly had a “contentious” and “intense” meeting with President Trump on Tuesday hours after the Associated Press published Barr’s remarks that rebuked the sitting president’s bogus claims of widespread voter fraud, according to ABC News and CNN reports Thursday morning.

On Tuesday, Barr spent about two and a half hours on White House grounds for what the White House and Department of Justice officials previously described as a pre-planned meeting with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

However, Barr didn’t just meet with Meadows while on White House grounds. Trump beckoned the attorney general — who was previously notorious for egging on the President’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting — to meet him inside the West Wing.

Barr’s remarks to the AP that undercut Trump’s unfounded voter fraud claims caused the sitting president to erupt on his attorney general during the “intense” and “contentious” meeting, according to ABC News and CNN.

Despite tensions during Trump and Barr’s meeting on Tuesday, CNN reported that a source said that the President was not screaming at the attorney general.

TPM reached out to the White House and the Justice Department for comment.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany dodged when pressed on whether Trump still has confidence in Barr following the attorney general’s remarks to the AP.

“The President, if he has any personnel announcement, you will be the first to know it,” McEnany said.

When asked about whether Trump has spoken to Barr since the attorney general’s remarks to the AP were published Tuesday, McEnany claimed she is “not aware if they’ve spoken,” despite how Barr “discussed an array of issues” with Meadows during a “preplanned meeting” Tuesday.

McEnany later pointed to a statement issued by a Justice Department official on Tuesday evening that insinuated false reporting by the media on Barr’s remarks to the AP. The DOJ spokesperson’s statement was sent to reporters soon after Barr departed the White House on Tuesday.

“Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that the Department has concluded its investigation of election fraud and announced an affirmative finding of no fraud in the election,” the spokesperson said. “That is not what the Associated Press reported nor what the Attorney General stated. The Department will continue to receive and vigorously pursue all specific and credible allegations of fraud as expeditiously as possible.”

Hours after the AP reported on Barr’s remarks, the Washington Post and Axios reported that Trump is actively considering firing Barr and replacing him with somebody more willing to do his bidding.

According to CNN on Thursday, Trump is worried about the legal repercussions of firing Barr in light of his tumultuous firing of FBI Director James Comey in 2017.

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