Top advisers to then-President Donald Trump told him that his claims of widespread election fraud were unfounded and would not reverse his 2020 election loss, but he refused to listen, according to testimony on Monday at a hearing of the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Close aides and family members said they told Trump that they found no merit in a wide range of often outlandish allegations that surfaced after his election defeat, including reports of a “suspicious suitcase” containing fake ballots, a truck transporting ballots to Pennsylvania and computer chips swapped into voting machines.
“I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff he has lost contact with, he’s become detached from reality,” said William Barr, who served as Trump’s attorney general and was long known as loyal to the Republican president. In video testimony, Barr bluntly dismissed claims of fraud as “bullshit” and “crazy stuff.”
“There was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were,” he said.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the assault on the U.S. Capitol by thousands of Trump supporters presented its findings at the second of an expected six this month on its nearly year-long investigation into the riot.
Monday’s hearing sought to make the case that Trump ignored the advice of many of his own staffers when he claimed that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him.