Former Attorney General Bill Barr effectively ghosted Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as Giuliani tried to convince the Justice Department chief to support false, conspiratorial claims of election fraud in the wake of the 2020 presidential contest, according to a new report.
Citing three people familiar with Team Trump's outreach, the Daily Beast reported Wednesday that Giuliani "repeatedly tried to call" Barr, who "consistently declined to return Giuliani's phone calls."
"Rudy let President Trump know [at the time] that Barr was not being helpful or responsive," one of the sources recalled. "But it didn't surprise that many people around the president that… Barr wasn't stepping up."
The report comes in the wake of Barr's bombshell interview with Jonathan Karl of The Atlantic, in which the former AG admitted he knew the election fraud claims were "bullsh*t," and recounted how then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell implored him to convince Trump to stop pursuing what has become known as the big lie. Barr also recalled a memorable exchange with Trump in which the former president attacked him for not using the Justice Department to help overturn the election, saying "How the f*ck could you do this to me? ... You must hate Trump."
Trump responded to The Atlantic interview by lashing out at Barr in a statement, calling him a "spineless RINO" and saying his former AG was "a disappointment in every sense of the word."
Several commentators have noted that Barr appears to be on a "rehabilitation tour," attempting to salvage his reputation after two years of using the DOJ as a partisan defense agency for Trump.