President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday joked that Attorney General Bill Barr had called him, “asking if I can get him in the witness protection program for endorsing me,” after Barr finally acknowledged earlier in the day that the Justice Department had seen no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential election.
Biden’s comments were made during an interview with The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman and published Wednesday after Barr — one of President Donald Trump’s most dedicated loyalists — admitted that the DOJ had not found evidence of widespread voter fraud in spite of Trump’s claims of the opposite.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday.
Barr’s remarks on the Justice Department’s findings clash with President Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen, amid Trump’s ongoing effort to sow doubt about the integrity of the vote in a number of battleground states that he lost to his Democratic opponent.
The comments from Barr diverge from the attorney general’s habit of rushing to Trump’s side and parroting unsubstantiated claims about election security. Before the election, Barr had propped up the President’s unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voter fraud was a grave concern even amid its long history as a safe and secure voting method.
Last month, without evidence, Barr also fueled Trump’s crusade on the integrity of the election by issuing a directive to U.S. attorneys to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities, if they existed, before the 2020 presidential election was certified.
Barr’s refusal on Tuesday to advance Trump’s election falsehoods adds him to the ranks of a handful of Republicans who have shattered the veneer on Trump’s false claims about the election that have apparently fueled a surge in campaign donations that will likely line the pockets of Trump’s personal post-election activities.
When asked on Tuesday what it’s been like to win the presidency amid a deadly pandemic and Trump’s election fraud campaign, Biden told the Times he has felt “no elation” knowing there is lots of work ahead of him.
“I feel like I’ve done something good for the country by making sure that Donald Trump is not going to be president for four more years,” Biden said.
“There’s a lot of work to do. I’m just focused on getting some things done as quickly as I can,” he added.