Bill Barr discussed his January 6th committee testimony on the one major network that refused to air it.
On Fox News’ Cavuto Live show, host Neil Cavuto seemed quite interested in the doings of the January 6 committee that his own network refused to air. Cavuto did not trash the proceedings, as Tucker Carlson and his prime time colleagues Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham did.
Barr, who was seen on video during Thursday’s hearing saying he told Donald Trump his stolen election claims were “bulls**t,” got a warm welcome from Cavuto. It included a plug for Barr’s “great book.”
Cavuto noted that the Jan. 6 committee will likely “seek criminal indictments to key players, maybe even the former president himself.”
Barr replied, “I haven’t seen anything that makes me think the president committed a crime.” However, Barr’s resignation from the Trump administration was announced on December 14, 2020, effective December 23, two weeks before January 6, 2021. That was weeks after Barr fell out with Trump and stated publicly that there had been no widespread election fraud, on December 1, 2020. So how much would Barr really have known about Trump’s January 6th behavior?
With Cavuto, Barr seemed to want to both distance himself from the committee and defend his televised comments. Also, to let Republicans know he’s not anti-Trump.
“There were a few things that were new,” in the hearings, Barr said. “I do think there are legitimate areas of inquiry.” But he didn’t say a word about Fox’s decision not to air the hearings.
“This isn’t set up as an optimal mechanism for getting at the truth and there is, obviously, a big political overlay,” Barr continued. “I think it’s legitimate to explore whether or not there was a plan to use violence to stop the vote, and if there was a plan, was the president involved? I haven’t seen anything up to now that makes me think he was, and I personally doubt it.”
He also called it “legitimate” to ask, “Did the president stand by for hours while the Capitol was under attack, and did nothing, and made the comments that were attributed to him about the vice president?”
FACT CHECK: We already know that on January 6, 2021, Republican congresspeople and activists, Fox personalities, and former Trump administration members begged for him to do something to stop the violence for hours before he finally told the mob to go home and that “we love you.”
Cavuto replayed Barr’s remarks to the committee along with Ivanka Trump’s testimony saying that she “respected” and “accepted” Barr’s conclusion that the election had not been stolen. Cavuto also read Trump’s spin that she didn’t know anything about the election results and was “only trying to be respectful” to Barr, whom Trump said “sucked.”
“I consider the source,” Barr said, laughing. “I sort of ignore those kinds of comments.” Later, he said, “The president’s response is something I would expect from him, which is, essentially, ad hominem attacks.”
Cavuto asked if the January 6 committee hearings “could dissuade” or “should dissuade” Trump from running in 2024 for his old job.
Barr said he didn’t think the hearings would “necessarily” dissuade Trump and that he probably intends to run as of now. But, Barr added, “There’s a lot that can happen in three years, or 2 ½ years, and a lot of it could involve this episode and facts that come out about it.”
Barr doesn’t think Trump “legally incited” the riot but that “his behavior was shameful.” He said Trump was “largely responsible for directing those people up to the Hill with the idea that there was something that could be done to turn things around and to stop the steal.”
But Barr thought it “unlikely” the Department of Justice will find “real smoking gun evidence of complicity and a plan to use force to stop the count.” The “net effect,” he predicted, will be “political and it could hurt the president a little bit on the margin.”
Although Trump’s election claims were obviously a bridge too far for Barr, most of his time as Trump’s attorney general was spent as a toady who repeatedly put Trump’s interests above the country’s.
Cavuto didn’t ask about any of those many, many instances. He did find time to plug Barr’s book again, though, calling it a “very, very good read” and suggested it would make a good Father’s Day gift.
You can watch the interview below, from the June 11, 2022 Cavuto Live.