Attorney General Bill Barr said in an interview Tuesday that the Justice Department has not found any evidence of fraud that would change the outcome of the presidential election, becoming the latest official in President Donald Trump’s administration to undermine his baseless claims that the election was rigged against him.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the Associated Press.
His statements come weeks after Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, who had repeatedly shot down claims of voting fraud during the election, and while President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to country’s highest office moves forward.
Shortly after Biden clinched enough electoral votes to win the presidency, Barr authorized the Justice Department to look into the president’s claims of voting “irregularities.” At the time, Barr noted in his memo to assistant attorneys general that most instances of “election misconduct” are never at a scale that would impact the outcome of a federal election.
Still, Barr’s comments to the AP on Tuesday appeared to be the first time that he has publicly disputed the president’s allegations of widespread voter fraud.
Shortly after the interview was published, Barr was seen entering the White House for unknown reasons. A White House spokesperson declined to comment, referring BuzzFeed News to the Justice Department.
Over the summer, the attorney general pushed the baseless claim that foreign powers could manipulate mail-in ballots and therefore create widespread voter fraud. He never offered any evidence to support that idea, telling CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer that he was basing the theory on “logic.”
Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec told a pool reporter that Barr was at the White House “for a previously scheduled meeting.”
In his interview with the AP, Barr also appeared to rebuke an unsubstantiated theory of a vast, well-funded conspiracy pushed by the Trump campaign’s legal team as it tried to delay the certification of results. Attorneys for the campaign recently attempted to draw connections among the companies that produced electronic voting and ballot-counting systems and the Clinton Foundation, investor and philanthropist George Soros, the self-described “antifa,” and the Venezuelan government.
“There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud, and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that,” Barr said.
In a statement Tuesday, the Trump campaign’s legal team dismissed the attorney general’s comments, saying that “his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud.”
“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation,” campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said in the statement.
The lawyers provided no such evidence for their claims.