The new book I Alone Can Fix It by Carol Leonnig and Phil Rucker includes many first-hand accounts of conversations former Attorney General Bill Barr had with other officials in Donald Trump's administration.
While the book doesn't say whether or not Barr was a source, many stories including Barr attempt to portray him as a one of few pushing back against Trump's more harebrained ideas.
In one incident, in April 2020, Trump was raging over Christopher Wray being in control of the FBI. He wanted Wray fired just as he'd done with James Comey. Trump also wanted to get rid of former deputy director of the FBI, David Bowdich and replace him with Kash Patel, a former aide to Devin Nunes who worked to discredit Robert Mueller's investigation.
According to the book, "in private conversations with colleagues, Barr called Patel a 'walking disaster.'" He went on to tell Trump that he would quit on the spot.
"Mr. President, if you try to make Kash Patel the deputy director I will resign immediately. No ifs, ands, or buts," said Barr, according to the book. "No f*cking way."
Barr believed that Patel and Rudy Giuliani bore primary responsibility for Trump's first impeachment.
Both men were feeding Trump misinformation about Ukraine purportedly interfering with the 2016 election. Andriy Derkach, a Ukraine official who turned out to be a Russian agent, was responsible for handing over "information" against Biden to Giuliani and Nunes. The so-called "intelligence" from "Ukraine" turned out to be propaganda from someone who was ultimately sanctioned by Trump's own government as a Russian agent.
Barr explained to Trump that the FBI's rank and file would never accept someone like Patel who wasn't one of their own as the deputy director. Traditionally the deputy is an agent as they are, while the director can be a more of a regular person.
"Mr. President, the FBI is like the Marine Corps," Barr said according to the book. "They're all agents, they've all gone through agent school. You are nobody at the FBI unless you're an agent. The only person who is not an agent is the director. The deputy director has been an agent and has always been an agent and always will be an agent, otherwise you cannot run that place. And to take a clown like him, who has no background, and make him deputy is just beyond the pale."
You can read the whole book, I Alone Can Fix It, from your local bookstore today.