President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that Attorney General William Barr hasn’t “looked very hard” to investigate allegations of election fraud, coming several days after Barr said he hasn’t seen “fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
“When he looks he’ll see the kind of evidence that right now you are seeing in the Georgia Senate,” Trump said, referring to hearings in the state on alleged fraud and irregularities. “He hasn’t done anything yet,” he added.
Trump said Barr and the Department of Justice “haven’t looked very hard, which is a disappointment, to be honest.”
When asked about whether Barr still has his support, Trump responded: “Ask me that in a number of weeks from now. They should be looking at all of this fraud. This is not civil. This is criminal stuff. This is very bad criminal stuff.”
Trump didn’t elaborate on Barr’s job status.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, the attorney general said that the DOJ and U.S. attorneys are working to follow up complaints they’ve obtained.
A day later, a Justice Department spokesperson said that AP and other news outlets failed to offer context and twisted Barr’s words.
“Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that the DOJ has concluded its investigation of election fraud and announced an affirmative finding of no fraud in the election. That is not what the Associated Press reported nor what the Attorney General stated,” the spokesperson said. “The Department will continue to receive and vigorously pursue all specific and credible allegations of fraud as expeditiously as possible.”
Trump’s statements to the media on Thursday echo those made by his lawyers, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, who disputed Barr’s claim to the AP.
“With all due respect to the Attorney General,” they said, “there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation.”
From six states, evidence was sent to the DOJ, the lawyers added. But the agency hasn’t examined it.
“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ,” their statement concluded. “The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth.”
Trump also told reporters that on Election Night, “votes started disappearing” before Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden started gaining on him.
“I think I can say in all of these states. Far more votes than we need to win every one of them,” the president said before thanking his supporters and people who voted for him.
“I just want to thank my team because my team is doing an unbelievable job. And more importantly, I want to thank the 74-million-plus people that voted, which … the largest amount of people that a sitting president has ever had … 74-million-plus,” Trump remarked.