President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign have spent the past several weeks sounding the alarm about alleged fraud and other irregularities at play in the recent presidential election.
After Attorney General William Barr appeared to dispute and downplay those fears in a statement this week, the president was coy in responding to one reporter’s inquiry into whether he still has confidence in the head of the Justice Department.
Taking a moment to compose his answer, Trump told the reporter to ask him again “in a number of weeks from now.”
The president has thus far declined to concede the election, which mainstream media outlets claimed to be a victory for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. In an interview with the Associated Press this week, however, Barr distanced himself from the Trump administration’s continued claims that widespread voter fraud was the cause of the election results.
Instead, the attorney general claimed that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Barr had previously authorized all U.S. attorneys to proactively investigated “substantial allegations” of election-related fraud, suggesting in the recent interview that most of those claims would be a civil, not criminal, matter.
As for members of the president’s legal team, the reason for Barr’s dearth of evidence lies in an insufficient investigation by the Justice Department.
“This is criminal stuff”
On Thursday, Trump took a few questions from White House correspondents following a ceremony to present college football coach Lou Holtz with the Presidential Medial of Freedom.
Asked for his response to the AP report of Barr’s conclusion, Trump declared: “Well, he hasn’t done anything. So he hasn’t looked.”
The president went on to list examples of “the kind of evidence” his legal team has been presenting in hearings across multiple disputed swing states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
“Do you still have confidence in Bill Barr?” asked NBC News reporter Kristen Welker as a follow-up question.
After pausing for several seconds, Trump replied: “Uh, ask me that in a number of weeks from now. They should be looking at all of this fraud. This is not civil; he thought it was civil. This is not civil; this is criminal stuff. This is very bad criminal stuff.”