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Former Attorney General Bill Barr is refuting the liberal media’s narrative that he was a “toady” to former President Donald Trump, he said in a new interview, and defending his support for the latter despite heavy criticism.
In an interview that aired Monday on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Barr called the media’s description of his service under Trump “false,” declared he felt he could be, and was, independent within his role, and expanded on the writings in his new memoir about his time working in the administration.
“The media chose to weave a narrative that I was a toady to the president, and that was false from the beginning, because I felt I could be independent, and I was,” Barr said of his second stint as attorney general; the first was under former President George H.W. Bush.
Barr pushed back on criticism he received for intervening in a number of investigations by the Justice Department focused on Trump and some of his associates, on one occasion dropping a charge against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. He stated that he personally intervened because, according to NPR, “too many political differences are turned into criminal investigations.”
Barr did, however, argue it was time for Trump to relinquish his foothold in presidential politics by not running for the White House in 2024.
“I think that he would be one of the weaker candidates. We have a lot of young candidates who will fight for principle but don’t have the sort of obnoxious personal characteristics that alienate a lot of voters,” he said.
Barr blamed left-wing progressives for the division being experienced across the country, but didn’t side with Trump when it came to challenging the results of the 2020 election. He disagrees strongly with Trump’s continued claims that widespread fraud allowed Joe Biden to win.
Barr also stood by his summary of the investigation into the Trump campaign and allegations of collusion with Russia to win the 2016 election, in which he concluded there was no conspiracy between the two.
He went on to defend Trump’s efforts to maintain good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and stands by his assessment that there was nothing criminal about Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to dig up political dirt against Biden in the 2020 election.