Getty (2) William Barr (L); Donald Trump
Ahead of the release of his memoir One Damn Thing After Another, Barr spoke with Savannah Guthrie in an interview that aired during Monday's episode of the Today show. In the segment, she asked him about a scathing "three-page, single-spaced" letter Trump, 75, sent to NBC about Barr following the former attorney general's earlier interview with Lester Holt.
Guthrie said the letter consisted of "mostly personal insults," with Barr, 71, telling her, "It's par for the course. The president is a man who, when he's told something he doesn't want to hear, he immediately throws a tantrum and attacks the person personally. So I thought the letter was childish."
Barr, who resigned from his position as attorney general in December 2020 following Trump's loss to Joe Biden in the presidential election, told Guthrie, 50, he "was pretty content with" Trump's administration "up until the election" that November.
"I supported his policies," Barr said of Trump. "He was always hard to work with and resistant to advice, but you could usually keep things on track."
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"But after the election," the longtime attorney said, Trump "went off the rails."
You say in your book you were worried about the peaceful transition of power. You even had national security concerns ... none of this is present in this resignation letter. Didn’t the American people deserve to know what you knew? -@SavannahGuthrie to William Barr pic.twitter.com/aQfdbcE10a
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 7, 2022
"He wouldn't listen to anyone except a little coterie of sycophants who were telling him what he wanted to hear," Barr alleged. "And I think he did a lot of damage after the election, both with this idea that the election was stolen and also by him rallying this group on Capitol Hill, where the clear purpose was to intimidate the vice president and Congress."
He also maintains that "there was no stealing of the election through fraud," despite what Trump has continued to claim.
"The votes reflected the decision of the people," he said. "You can talk all you want about the playing field and gaming of the system — and there were some things that have to be looked into, like the Facebook payments. But that does not mean the election was stolen, or that those votes were invalid. There simply was no evidence of that."
HarperCollins One Damn Thing After Another by William Barr
Barr added that ideas that the election was "stolen" by Biden, 79, "were just false," and said he looked into them to no avail — which allegedly made Trump "livid" after Barr told him his suggestions as to such were "BS."
Speaking to Today, Barr also said he planned to "support somebody else for the nominee" if Trump chooses to run again in 2024.
Barr didn't, however, rule out voting for Trump should the former president clinch the Republican nomination in the future.
"It's hard to project what the facts are going to turn out to be three years hence, but as of now, it's hard for me to conceive that I wouldn't vote for the Republican nominee," Barr told Guthrie.
As for his book being seen by some, as Guthrie put it, a "revisionist history with a lawyerly flair," Barr said, "People who know me know I don't really care what people think about me."
"That's one of the reasons I was persuaded to take the attorney general job — because I wasn't looking for anything," he added. "I don't have a future career; I'm retired. And I felt I could just call 'em as I see 'em. Anyone who tries to win the approval of others is gonna be compromised very quickly."
One Damn Thing After Another will be released Tuesday.