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"This is the time to speak up": John Bolton lauds Bill Barr for standing up to Trump

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.

  • "He told the truth: we don't find any evidence of vote-flipping algorithms, for God's sakes. If there's evidence, let's see it. Why can't we see the evidence? Because they don't have any, is the answer. This is the time to speak up."

Trump has been ranting about Barr's AP interview behind the scenes and has privately floated replacing Barr, as we reported last night. But it’s unclear whether he will follow through with that.

Between the lines: Former White House Counsel Don McGahn used to refer to Trump — not to his face of course — as "King Kong" when he blew up about the news or a meeting that didn't go his way.

  • One official told Axios that they expected "King Kong" was "swinging from the drapes" after that interview.
  • A DOJ spokesperson said Barr was at the White House for a previously scheduled meeting.

Worth noting: Bolton, who has become one of Trump's largest — and loudest — critics, is still battling with the Trump administration over a lawsuit alleging the former national security adviser published classified information in his recent memoir, violating nondisclosure agreements he signed with the White House.

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