Attorney General William Barr​
Attorney General William Barr at a congressional hearing. (Screen capture)

On Monday, The Washington Post editorial board tore into the Republican Party for advancing former President Donald Trump's "big lie" that the 2020 election was stolen from him — even though, according to a new interview with ABC News' Jonathan Karl, former Attorney General William Barr knew it was "bullsh*t" and worked with now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to try to talk him down.

"Former attorney general William P. Barr was one of Donald Trump's most loyal lieutenants," wrote the board. "He roiled the department helping the former president's criminal friends, and his public praise of Mr. Trump redefined effusive. So the week after the 2020 presidential election, when he unleashed U.S. attorneys across the country to investigate voting irregularities, it seemed as though he was preparing to use the Justice Department's powers to bolster the lie that the Democrats had stolen the election."

And yet, the board noted, it turned out Barr privately knew all of it was "absurd."

"It was not until Dec. 1 that Mr. Barr finally announced publicly what he had known for weeks, telling an Associated Press reporter, 'To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,'" wrote the board. "It took Mr. McConnell even longer to denounce Mr. Trump's lies. One can only wonder, if Mr. Barr and Mr. McConnell had spoken out sooner, whether the 'big lie' might have struggled to deepen and fester among Republicans the way it has. But at least they acknowledged reality, a fact that to this day distinguishes them from a shockingly large number of their fellow Republicans."

There are Republicans even now who refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of President Joe Biden's win — and are proud of it.

"Trumpworld's facially ridiculous fraud allegations did not pass the smell test last November, and they got only less credible under scrutiny," concluded the board. "Those who persist in advancing the 'big lie' today are either unhinged or so disinterested in the nation's welfare that they are willing to indulge dangerous conspiracy theories to retain power and stay in Mr. Trump's good graces. Either one should be disqualifying for public office."

You can read more here.