Former attorney general William Barr’s wounded ego over being insulted by his ex-boss, President Donald J. Trump, has driven him to go on record as saying that he will be throwing his support behind whichever Republican who has “the best chance of pushing Trump aside” in 2024.
Barr, who twice served as the nation’s top law enforcement official under Republican presidents, spilled his guts and aired his grievances with former New York Times writer and editor Bari Weiss on the latest edition of her “Honestly” podcast.
Particularly galling to Barr was being called a “f**king loser” by Trump and he dished the details to Weiss.
Today, Bari sits down for a frank discussion with former AG Bill Barr.
His most awkward experience in the White House? When the president was “calling all of us fucking losers at the top of his lungs.”
Listen to the full conversation here: https://t.co/BBnoLO2ujE pic.twitter.com/ReGQFbiWNh
— Honestly with Bari Weiss (@thehonestlypod) August 25, 2022
“The president was bellowing at a number of his Cabinet secretaries and especially the military guys, the DoD secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and calling all of us f***ing losers at the top of his lungs,” he recalled a summer 2020 meeting when riots raging across the nation after viral video of the death of career criminal and drug addict George Floyd ignited an inferno of racial animosity along with savage violence.
Barr also told Weiss, “The left has lost their mind over Trump. Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real thing. But Trump is his own worst enemy. He’s incorrigible. He doesn’t take advice from people. And you’re not going to teach an old dog new tricks.”
“So I was under no illusions when I went in. But I thought a Republican administration was important during this period. I hadn’t supported Trump originally, but once he got the nomination I supported him and I felt he was following good, sound policies generally. And I thought that he was being unfairly treated,” he recounted about when he took the job at Justice. “I felt Russiagate was very unjust and I was suspicious of it from the very beginning. I was also upset at the way the criminal justice process has been used and, I thought, was being used to interfere with the political process. The Justice Department and the F.B.I. were being battered and I care about those institutions.”
He also expressed support for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a rising star in Republican politics who many believe is the greatest threat to Trump’s control of the party.
“I like a lot of these guys, some of them much better than others. I don’t know Ron DeSantis that well, but I’ve been impressed with his record in Florida,” he said. “I’m going to support whoever has the best chance of pushing Trump aside. Part of it is to narrow who that’s going to be, because the bigger the pool of people siphoning off votes, the easier it is for someone who has a third of the party to win the nomination.”
“I think one of the political realities today, although I don’t know how it’s going to be in two years, is that Trump’s basic tack is ruining the reputation of whoever gets the nomination among his own base by calling them a RINO,” he continued. “That’s something he would have a hard time doing to DeSantis, which is the big advantage that DeSantis brings to the table. It puts him in a good position as a person who essentially embraces many of the same policies as Trump without some of Trump’s baggage and bad characteristics. He may be a candidate who could extract the Republican Party from Trump’s grip because of that.”
Barr later added, “The problem with Trump is that it’s all about running a base election. Whip up your base, get them all upset and outraged, and turn them out at the polls. Both sides do that. That is a prescription for continued hostility and demoralization of the country. The first side to break out of that will do so by restoring politics to what it should be, which is the politics of trying to capture a majority of the people through persuasion and with a decisive enough majority to change things. That’s what we should be focused on, but we’re not right now. That’s not Trump’s approach,”
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