[NFA] U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday declined to say whether he still had confidence in U.S. Attorney General William Barr after the Department of Justice chief this week said there was no sign of major fraud in last month's presidential election.
REPORTER: "Do you still have confidence in Bill Barr?" TRUMP: "Uh... ask me that... in a number of weeks from now." William Barr's time as U.S. Attorney General appeared to hang in the balance Thursday as President Donald Trump declined to say whether he still had confidence in his Justice Department chief, after Barr said this week that there was no sign of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election.
TRUMP: "Well, he hasn't done anything.
So, he hasn't looked." Barr, the highest-ranking Trump ally to break from the president's script, told the Associated Press on Tuesday: "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election," and said that there had been confusion over the DOJ's role in U.S. elections, adding that civil lawsuits like those being pursued by Trump's campaign were the appropriate legal venue.
TRUMP: "This is not civil.
He thought it was civil.
This is not civil.
This is criminal stuff.
This is very bad criminal stuff." A source familiar with the internal dynamics at the White House said Trump has been irked at Barr and talked about whether to replace him.
TRUMP: "When he looks he'll see the kind of evidence that right now you're seeing in the Georgia Senate.
You know, they're going through hearings right now in Georgia and they're finding tremendous volumes.
So, they haven't looked very hard, which is a disappointment to be honest with you, because it's massive fraud." Trump appeared to refer to two state Senate committee hearings held on Thursday to begin a review of Georgia’s voting laws, including a push to require photo ID for absentee voting.
No evidence of massive voter fraud was presented.
Trump, who lost the presidential election to Joe Biden, planned to attend what the RNC called a Victory Rally in Georgia on Saturday to support the two Republican U.S. senators running to keep their seats.
GABRIEL STERLING: "Go out and exercise your vote." Some Republicans, including Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia, said they worried about rallies that could spread falsehoods about voting, such as a Wednesday rally hosted by Trump advocates Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, who repeated baseless claims about corrupted voting machines.
STERLING: "Lin Wood, pacing across the stage, said 'we're not going to vote for these... we're not using machines to vote.'
You know, 'we shouldn't go out and vote for Senator Loeffler and Perdue'.
We encourage all voters to vote in an election." Trump, who requested a third recount in Georgia, has forced Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler into the awkward position of asking voters to go to the polls while supporting Trump's baseless claim that the system is rigged.
5 runoffs will determine whether or not Republicans retain control of the U.S. Senate and their ability to block much of Biden's legislative agenda.