White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany takes questions during a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman refused to say Wednesday whether Trump still has faith in Attorney General William Barr, a day after Barr said there was no significant evidence to support the president’s claim that widespread ballot fraud led to his defeat by President-elect Joe Biden.
Barr’s comment about the lack of such evidence during an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday badly undercut baseless allegations by Trump and his campaign legal team that the president has been swindled out of re-election by ballot fraud.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the AP.
The interview sparked immediate speculation that Trump would fire Barr, who until Tuesday was seen as a staunchly loyal supporter of the president.
During a press conference Wednesday, a reporter asked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, “Does [Trump] still have faith in Attorney General Bill Barr? Does he still have confidence in Bill Barr?”
US President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with US Attorney General William Barr (R) during the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor presentation ceremony at the White House in Washington, DC on May 22, 2019.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
McEnany replied, “If we have any personnel announcements, I’ll let you know.”
She also said, when asked if Trump was upset by Barr’s comments, that she had not spoken to the president specifically about the attorney general’s statement.
When she was asked if Trump has spoken to Barr since his interview with the AP, McEnany said, “I’m not aware if they’ve spoken.”
“I know the attorney general was here yesterday for a pre-planned meeting with the chief of staff [Mark Meadows] and they discussed an array of issues but i’m not aware if the president has spoken to him directly,” McEnany said.
The Justice Department, which Barr leads, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment on McEnany’s remarks.
Trump has falsely claimed that he beat Biden, and has promoted a number of unproven conspiracy theories while arguing that large-scale ballot fraud tipped the voting tallies in battleground states in Biden’s favor.
However, Biden is projected to win 306 votes in the Electoral College, 36 more than he needs to secure victory in the presidential election. The Electoral College is scheduled to meet and vote on Dec. 14.
Legal and election experts say Trump has little, if any hope to avoid defeat through either lawsuits, or recounts, or through what would a radical move by a handful of state legislatures to invalidate the popular vote outcome in their respective states.
McEnany was asked Wednesday whether Trump still believes he has a path to win re-election, even after the certification of Biden’s victories in all of the battleground states that the president would need to win to secure a second term.
“The president has said that he believes all legal votes should be counted and all illegal votes should not be counted and in fact the campaign is pursuing that litigation,” McEnany answered.
“I can’t get into the details of that litigation here, but they still do have active cases in Nevada and Wisconsin,” she said.
The Trump campaign and its allies have lost or withdrawn dozens of lawsuits in multiple states related to the election, failing to invalidate any votes for Biden.
The Trump campaign has said it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of a Pennsylvania federal court case that it badly lost, in which the campaign sought to invalidate millions of ballots in that state.
On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., asked the Supreme Court to void Pennsylvania’s certification of Biden’s win in that state as the lawmaker challenges the legality of mail-in ballots there.
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