Trump lackeys tried to get Barr to replace FBI head with their loyalist — and Mark Meadows didn't even know: new book
Rep. Mark Meadows

In his newly released tell-all book, Bill Barr recalled a bizarre meeting he walked out of before it even started. According to the passage in One Damn Thing After Another, Barr was called to a meeting at the White House that top aides to Donald Trump lied to him about.

According to Barr, it was April 2020 and he was called to a meeting in Mark Meadows' office. Meadows wasn't there and they moved to the Roosevelt Room.

"We stood around for several minutes waiting," Barr wrote. "John McEntee, the young head of presidential personnel [then 29], drifted in, his faced buried in his cell phone. Kash Patel made an entrance."

Barr said they all refused to answer why they were at the meeting. "Suddenly a man in his fifties walked in and introduced himself as Bill Evanina, an FBI agent currently serving in a senior position in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Everyone continued to stand around the conference table in awkward silence. I surmised quickly the purpose of the meeting. I didn’t know who was supposed to show up to lead it, but I wasn’t going to wait around to find out."

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“Bye,” Barr told them and walked out.

He then went to Meadows calling the meeting an "obvious set up" to get him to appoint Evanina as the director of the FBI and Patel as his deputy ahead of the election.

"What the hell is going on?" Barr asked, writing that Meadows shook his head.

“I didn’t know they were going to pull that,” he said. “Don’t worry about it.”

It was months later when the country found out about Evanina's thoughts on the election. In a statement from the Office of National Intelligence, he claimed that China was the major threat to 2020 election security. It caused some counter-intelligence experts to scratch their heads.

In a private briefing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chided Evanina for twisting the facts to mostly blame China when the intelligence clearly showed that the top concern was Russia and to a lesser extent China.

Politico reported in Aug. 2020, about the meeting, saying that he angered Democrats who believed he was intentionally whitewashing the Russian threat. Evanina then dodged the issue entirely attacking Democrats, saying they leaked classified information that he'd previously reported in a press release.

"Trump’s ire at [FBI Director Christopher] Wray was episodic, flaring up whenever the low-key FBI chief crossed his radar," said a separate Politico report. "Congressional testimony on Russia, always a sensitive subject, could provoke Trump’s anger. So could Wray’s pronouncements on election security or his defenses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a law the former president blamed for enabling Democrats’ supposed 'spying' on his 2016 campaign. Trump also thought Wray was weak, according to one of the former Trump officials."

But firing not one but two FBI directors over four years and right before an election probably wasn't the best look politically. At the time, it was reported that Barr said he'd resign. In the book, Barr goes on to explain that it wasn't clear who cooked up the plot but that it certainly didn't come from the Trump leadership. Though, it could have come from Trump himself.

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