It was a big week for former president Trump, who on Saturday held his first rally since January 6, which ended with the deadly riot at the US Capitol.
And it was a big week for his loyalists, many of whom appear to be attempting to distance themselves from their former leader.
Bill Barr: “My suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullshit.”
On Wednesday, CNN reported that the gap between Trump and his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, “grows wider by the week.” The former president reportedly talks for hours on end about the “stolen” election and his hopeful return to politics. “A large part of the reason for the separation is Trump’s constant harping on the past and his inability to move on,” wrote CNN. “The former President has also started to question the role that Kushner—one of the few people who were able to stay close to Trump throughout his two presidential campaigns and White House tenure—has played in his presidential legacy.”
On Thursday, former vice president Mike Pence defended his role in certifying the Electoral College on January 6 in what the New York Times called the “most forceful attempt yet to separate himself from his former boss.”
“I will always be proud that we did our part on that tragic day to reconvene the Congress and fulfilled our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States,” said Pence, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. “The truth is, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”
And finally, on Sunday, The Atlantic quoted former Attorney General Bill Barr saying that Trump’s claims of election fraud were “bullshit.”
“My suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there,” Barr told journalist Jonathan Karl. “It was all bullshit.”
This was quite an about face for an Attorney General who, the week after the election, directed justice department prosecutors to investigate “substantial allegations” of voter fraud that “could potentially impact the outcome” of the election. In early December, a month after the election, Barr admitted to the Associated Press that, “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
At Saturday’s “Save America” rally in Wellington, Ohio, Trump seem undeterred by the distancing of his former lackeys. “We won the election twice,” he told the crowd. “And it’s possible we’ll have to win it a third time.”