Former Attorney General Bill Barr slammed former President Donald Trump as ‘the weakest of the Republican candidates,’ predicting that Trump will ultimately lose to President Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election.
‘I think ultimately the savvy Democratic strategists know [the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office probe] is going to help Trump, and they want him to be the nominee because he is the weakest of the Republican candidates, the most likely to lose again to Biden,’ Barr said on ABC’s ‘This Week’ on Sunday.
Barr’s comments came the week after Trump pleaded not guilty in a New York City courtroom to 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The former president and leading Republican presidential candidate for 2024 was indicted on March 30 as part of the Manhattan DA’s years-long investigation into hush-money payments made during the 2016 election.
‘I don’t think anything’s going to happen before a nomination is made and even perhaps until the election, the 2024 election,’ Barr said when asked about the likelihood of Trump being convicted and sent to prison. ‘This stuff is going to drag out through ’24, and it’s going to stymie and disrupt the whole Republican primary process.’
‘I also think, though, as far as the general election is concerned, it will gravely weaken Trump,’ Barr said. ‘He’s already, I think, a weak candidate that would lose, but I think this sort of assures it.’
Barr maintained his earlier statements that the Manhattan case lacks merit, calling it ‘transparently an abuse of prosecutorial power to accomplish a political and … an unjust case.’
‘If it was fraud, it was committed in the course of fraud. And I don’t see anywhere specified in here exactly what the fraud was,’ Barr said. ‘These were his own business records. He was paying himself the hush money and the business records were his own company. He’s the owner of the company.’
Barr also said he would be most concerned about the Mar-a-Lago document case, saying Trump has ‘dug himself into a hole’ given his ‘reckless and self-destructive behavior.’
‘In many respects, he’s his own worst enemy,’ Barr said.
The hush-money payments include the $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and the $150,000 payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Both women were paid for their silence on alleged affairs with Trump – affairs Trump has repeatedly denied.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Marta Dhanis contributed to this report.