White House Skirts Questions About Donald Trump’s Refusal to Concede and William Barr’s Future
During a White House press briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended President Donald Trump’s foredoomed efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
NBC’s Kristen Welker was called for the first question.
“Appreciate it. I want to ask you about the comments the attorney general made to the Associated Press. He said, ‘to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.’ Given that, why hasn’t President Trump conceded?” Welker asked McEnany, who tried to downplay Attorney General William Barr’s Monday announcement that the Justice Department was unable to find any widespread voter fraud.
“First, he went on to say – it was in an AP interview that he made that initial comment. In that same AP interview, he went on to say he thinks a lot of people are confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits,” McEnany said. “He discerned the fact he said, ‘there is a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all and the campaign’s litigation is all civil litigation, which is a part from something the DOJ Would be involved in.'”
Welker pressed further, pointing to Trump’s concactenation of courtroom failures, predominantly due to his legal team’s inability to produce evidence of voter fraud.
“More that forty cases have been brought by the president’s legal team, the majority have been denied or dismissed,” Welker said. “The election results have been certified in all of the battleground states. Does the president still think he has a path to win?”
McEnany said that “the president has said he believes all legal votes should be counted and all legal votes should not be illegal votes should not be counted and in fact the campaign is pursuing that litigation. I can’t get into the details of that litigation, but they still do have active cases in Nevada and Wisconsin.”
Welker wanted to know how Trump plans to “overturn the results that have already been certified in these battleground states.”
Once again, McEnany refused to offer specifics, instead deferring to Trump’s confederation of attorneys.
“Again the president is looking for every vote to be counted. I will look to the campaign to pursue their end,” the press secretary said.
Welker then asked if Trump plans on firing Barr, as he so often does to administration officials who publicly disagree with him.
“One more: does he have faith in Attorney General Bill Barr? Does he still have confidence in Bill Barr?” Welker inquired.
“The president, if he has personnel announcements, you’ll be the first to know it,” replied McEnany.
Perhaps, but if Trump does sack the attorney general, it would likely be on Twitter, because the president lacks the necessary grit to fire people while looking them squarely in the eyes.
.@kwelkernbc: "Does he faith in Attorney General Bill Barr. Does he still have confidence in Bill Barr?"@PressSec: "The president, if he has any personnel announcements you will be the first to know it."
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 2, 2020
Forty-nine days until the inauguration.