- In December, Bill Barr broke from Trump and said there was no evidence of widespread election fraud.
- Trump was livid with Barr, according to a new book by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl.
- “How the f— could you do this to me? Why did you say it?” Trump asked Barr.
In December, after Attorney General Bill Barr told The Associated Press the Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud, President Donald Trump was livid, according to a forthcoming book by ABC News Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl.
“How the f— could you do this to me? Why did you say it?” Trump asked Barr, who up to that point had been considered a staunch ally of the president.
When Barr responded “because it's true,” Trump said: “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.”
The exchange was described in an excerpt of the book “Betrayal” that was published in The Atlantic on Sunday. The book is set for release in November.
Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump's rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions
The AP story on Barr's comment came after weeks of Trump spreading unsubstantiated claims of fraud that were going largely unchecked by some in Republican leadership and others in the administration.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told AP.
Barr told Karl that he had expected Trump to lose the election, but that he looked into claims of fraud because he knew Trump would ask him about it. Shortly after the election, he told prosecutors in the Justice Department to investigate substantial allegations of fraud, diverging from long-standing agency policy.
Barr himself also looked into some of the biggest claims that were being made about fraud in the election, according to Karl.
“If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it,” Barr told Karl. “But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bulls—.”
After Trump confronted Barr about his comments to the AP, the attorney general left the meeting unsure if he still had a job, according to Karl. But Barr stayed with the administration for a couple more weeks while Trump continued to contradict him and repeat the fraud claims.
Barr resigned in mid-December with a resignation letter that profusely praised the president.