November 23, 2022

Former Trump attorney general Bill Barr appears to be working overtime to damage Trump ahead –- far ahead –- of the 2024 GOP nomination for President. Though he says (to his credit) that he could never vote for a so-called progressive Democrat because of the damage such a person might do to the country, he is very much against Trump being the Republican nominee.

Last week, his anti-Trump rhetoric got so vehement that on Monday, we played a game called “Who Said It --- Bill Barr or Peter Strzok.” It really is quite challenging these days to tell the difference between what Barr says about Trump and what disgraced-and-fired FBI agent and Russia Hoaxer Strzok says. These were quotes from interviews that both took place on Friday, which happens to have been the day Attorney General Merrick Garland announced his appointment of Jack Smith as the new special counsel to investigate Trump over the Mar-A-Lago documents and his role in the January 6 riot. (How did you do on our quiz?)

On Monday, Barr spouted even more quotes in case we wanted to do an updated version of our game, in an op-ed for the NEW YORK POST headlined “Trump threatens to burn down the GOP, it’s time to move on.” Tell me, did Trump really threaten to burn down the GOP? I didn’t hear that, or anything close to that, and I don’t think he wants to do that, but let’s set that sensationalistic headline aside for the moment and take a thoughtful look at Barr’s commentary.

Barr does allow that Trump has strengths: he’s “clear and direct” in staking out a position (and, yes, that’s so refreshing!); he confronts difficult issues head-on; and he diagnosed and gives voice to the frustration of so many voters fed up with “progressive” Democrats, the elites and the media. Trump, like us, was sick of watching them preside over the decline of America.

Supporting Trump was an act of defiance, he points out, and that is true. Supporters liked the fact that he was over the top. “His voters felt that the left was taking a wrecking ball to the country,” he writes, “and they wanted to strike back with their own.” Also true.

Barr gives Trump credit for substantive achievements, such as “tax reform and deregulatory efforts” that “generated the strongest and most resilient economy in American history --- one that brought unprecedented progress to many marginalized Americans.” And Trump had begun to restore America’s military strength.

“[Trump] correctly identified the economic, technological and military threats to the United States posed by China’s aggressive policies,” Barr acknowledges. He brokered peace deals in the Mideast, accomplishing what many had thought impossible. He pulled us out of “ill-advised and detrimental agreements” with Russia and Iran. He finally fulfilled our promise to move our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

Yet, with all that he’s given Trump credit for, Barr can’t settle for what he did on the issues. Trump was petty and “made everything about himself,” he says. “If Trump had run his re-election campaign on that platform,” he says, “and dialed his churlishness back just a little, he would have won. But he lost because he insisted on running a campaign centered on whipping up his “base,” with a steady diet of “red meat.” Barr thinks that Trump isn’t really interested in broadening his appeal, that he’s “content to focus on intensifying his personal hold over a faction within the party.”

“The threat is simple,” Barr says, and here’s where NYP editors got their headline: “Unless the rest of the party goes along with him, he will burn the whole house down by leading ‘his people’ out of the GOP.” “Trump’s willingness to destroy the party if he does not get his way is not based on principle,” Barr says, “but on his own supreme narcissism. His egotism makes him unable to think of a political party as anything but an extension of himself –- a cult of personality.”

Unfortunately, it seems to be personality that Barr himself is mostly looking at. He says that in 2016, he “did not see [Trump] as our party’s standard-bearer.” Trump was “grossly self-centered, lacked self-control, and almost always took his natural pugnacity too far.” He found himself “cringing at his frequently juvenile, bombastic and petulant style.” Ah, Trump’s tweets.

And he’s still uneasy with Trump’s “wrecking ball style.” Never mind that in the years since Trump was first inaugurated, and especially since he left office, we’ve seen more and more that needs a wrecking ball taken to it, notably the DOJ that Barr led for some time. (Barr says Trump “failed”; what did Barr do to purge the DOJ of the deep-state bureaucracy that plagues it?)

As we noted on Monday, Barr said he thinks the special counsel will likely have enough evidence to indict Trump on charges related to his possession of documents at Mar-A-Lago. Never mind that the President has THE final authority over what documents are classified or declassified, which means the raid should never have taken place. Barr, of all people, should know this, so imagine the case of Trump Derangement Syndrome he must have to be able to ignore something so basic. He also seems to have ignored the blatantly partisan choice of this particular prosecutor; so far he’s said nothing.

Perhaps Barr is projecting his own TDS onto the voters when he says Trump himself lost the 2020 election and risks losing it all for the GOP in 2024. That seems to be his main concern about re-nominating the former President. He accuses Trump of tailoring his campaigning to his base --- that's such a condescending term, “base” --- and supplying them with the “red meat” they need. Sorry, I don’t agree. I and millions of others who supported Trump were not looking for “red meat.” If he wants to know why we voted for Trump, he should just look back at what he wrote himself about Trump’s strengths.

Many factors influenced the 2020 election. Covid, perhaps more than anything, and the logistical changes to the election process for which covid was the mere pretext, greatly affected the outcome. The collusion between the deep state and the dishonest media that suppressed stories damaging to Joe Biden was another huge factor. We don’t need to re-hash all that right now. For Barr to blame Trump’s loss in 2020 on his personal style is incredibly simplistic.

I think most of us in the GOP are taking a wait-and-see approach to the 2024 election; after all, it’s still two years away. We need to look at every candidate, and Trump might or might not be our eventual nominee. On the issues, though, we have consensus that he was a superb President. And given all the dark forces that have tried to take him down, it’s amazing –- almost superhuman –- that he is still standing and going strong. Perhaps he’s even learned to tone down his bombast when he sees it getting in the way of a particular goal. But Barr is trying so hard right now to talk us out of supporting him, one has to wonder if there’s something else behind it.

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Bill Barr attacks Trump again

Comments 11-20 of 99

  • Jane Vaughan

    11/24/2022 07:49 AM

    Bill Barr is a disgrace! Whatever he thinks of Trump means nothing! Just like Mike Pence, he thinks he can get back in a Republican Cabinet under Pence! If I had to write in President Trump, I would never vote for Pence who turned his back on President Trump. The MSM bought the election for Joe & some people still claim the senile old man who gets note cards telling him where to sit, when to speak, & what to say is ridiculous! President Trump had around 250k deaths with COVID…not necessarily from COVID as President! With 3 vaccines, Joe has had close to 800k more! He hated state governors who opened their states where death tolls were much lower! He praised Cuomo & Newsome for the “great job” they did keeping their states locked down! Ballot Harvesting got that old fool elected. His cabinet is a prime example of how “Affirmative Action” can go terribly wrong! He “ approves” of trying to sexual children by sick groomers! He praises his VP who he picked because of her “racial diversity box she checked” who is even more incompetent than he is! For all her screaming about equity, she is married to a White Jewish man. Rachel Levine, who is a man who dresses in women’s clothing but still has her penis was made an Admiral without any military experience! Mayor Pete took 3 months paternity leave & no one even knew it! Mayorkas & Garland are disgraces! They think lying about the Border & President Trump makes them look “cool” but all it does is highlight their incompetence! January 3rd cannot come soon enough!

  • Lynn

    11/24/2022 07:46 AM

    Barr has me angered & I wonder how many Trump supporters are a shy at Barr as well for attacking President Trump. You asked ‘what did Barr do to weed out the DOJ while he was there? Well I wondered why too, especially ,at the end just prior to his leaving the DOJ, it appeared he was running away. Perhaps he’s “owned” like the swamp we’d all like to see go far far away. That was my first thought. And now, to see Barr bash Trump, I no longer wonder. Barr, himself also has his own streak of narcissism and an ego to match! So disappointed in Barr’s disservice to his/our country!

  • Susan Hopkins

    11/24/2022 06:39 AM

    Bill Barr wants to be President or Vice President. He can't be either if Trump wins the nomination. He's finished, caput!

  • Marvé Harvey

    11/24/2022 06:36 AM

    I have to agree with Barr on his comments about both Trump's successes and his failures, but I also agree with you re: what Barr failed to do in the DOJ when he was there.

    I believe if Trump could have been just slightly more diplomatic and strategic and less narcissistic he could have won over the majority of independents and won by a landslide in spite of the media and left dirty tricks. His behavior immediately after the election was so disappointing to me, from both a strategic and temperament perspective, I truly hope he does not win the nomination. I appreciate him for all he was able to accomplish despite the challenges, but I think he would help the country more by passing on the torch. I believe that there are a few excellent leaders to follow in his footsteps who have less baggage and will have learned to replicate what Trump did right. He still has a great role to play, but he should play the role of special guest rather than the lead.

  • T H H

    11/24/2022 05:44 AM

    Someday I want to know who offered up the names to Trump for Cabinet and positions !
    Sessions - Rosenstein - Barr - Milley - who ever offered these people - was the true definition of enemy in the camp.
    Trump will not be reelected - but if he did and uses the same people again.
    say La vie - we are toast

  • Martha Johnson

    11/24/2022 12:06 AM

    I had been so hopeful when Bill Barr first was appointed by Trump. However, he was all promise and zero delivery. Had I seen positive results under his DOJ leadership, his current words would be important. He was a total disappointment and failure in his duties. Why would I find any merit in his words now. Barr is an empty vessel.

  • Robert E. Carter

    11/24/2022 12:02 AM

    I agree with you - having the all-around picture makes your conclusions valid.

    Maybe because it's Thanksgiving, I'm both thankful to God for what Trump was able to accomplish with his intelligence and leadership drive, and praying that the Spirit seizes him and he shows us that Jesus has his heart very soon, so that he can be a strong agent for the GOP, even if not President (humble servant leader).

  • Michele Flicker

    11/23/2022 10:25 PM

    Dear Governor, whew--you are such a breath of fresh air to help us followers digest (and survive with some residual sanity) the strange behavior of Barr -- what a disappointment. Yes, it's clearly TDS and he(Barr) is so far out that I've long suspected he's been blackmailed and threatened by Democrats. It's a miracle that Trump hasn't had a heart attack from all the abuse and betrayals he's received as thanks for his amazing gifts to the country during his term. Thank you for your courage and insights, and congratulations on the your daughter's wonderful success.

  • Cynthia love Cale

    11/23/2022 09:50 PM

    Hi Mike, you’re the only way I keep up with politics the last two years. Anyway, I felt like I was one of Trumps biggest cheerleaders, I even went to NYC on his Election Day , knowing he was going to win, I felt led by God. Now though I’m so disappointed in his narcissistic bulling ways, so many of my Trump supporters,friends feel the same way , we won’t be voting for him in the primaries if that happens, of course if he gets the GOP nomination, we will vote for him. We hope DeSantis gets nominated. Trump sure did the best ever job for our country for sure. Imagine if he acted presidential, he’d be loved by millions of new people, kinda like Reagan . It saddens me to feel this way, but despite the awesome President he was, I’m afraid he truly is a narcissist. I know you get countless comments to read, I hope you read mine, I also hope I can go on one of your Holy Land trips. Thank you for being an highly informed smart funny guy. Congratulations on Sara’s win!! She needs to be President someday. Thank you again, Cynthia Love Cale.

  • Gregory George Keller

    11/23/2022 09:38 PM

    Bill Barry is a democratic plantation party pig passing as a republican he has always been a slimy disgusting democratic plantation party pig and will always be one period . Sorry for the harsh words