In a Sunday interview, former Attorney General Bill Barr compared Donald Trump to a “defiant” toddler, calling the former president “a consummate narcissist” and “a very petty individual who will always put his interests ahead of the country’s.”
Barr, 73, served as Trump’s attorney general from 2019 to 2020 until resigning in the aftermath of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. He discussed the former president’s latest indictment by a federal grand jury for suspected mishandling of secret materials after leaving the White House on CBS News’ Face the Nation.
Trump is charged with 37 criminal offenses, including willful retention of national defense information (a violation of the Espionage Act), conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations.
The legal difficulties arise when Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, campaigns for president in 2024.
Barr asked on Face the Nation whether voters should be “putting someone like this forward as the leader of the country [and] leader of the free world.”
“This is not an isolated example,” Barr said of the indictment’s claims. “Trump has a lot of good qualities, and he’s done a lot of good things.” But the truth is that he is a consummate narcissist. And he is continuously engaging in hazardous behavior that endangers his political supporters as well as the conservative and Republican agenda.”
When asked how Trump would endanger the country if elected president in 2024, Barr responded, “He will always put his own interests and gratifying his own ego ahead of everything else, including the country’s interests.” There’s no doubt about it.”
He continued: “This is a perfect example of that. He’s like a 9-year-old, a defiant 9-year-old kid who is always pushing the glass toward the edge of the table, defying his parents to stop him from doing it. It’s a means of self-assertion and exerting his dominance over other people. And he’s a very petty individual who will always put his interests ahead of the country’s, his personal gratification of … his ego.”
“Our country can’t … be a therapy session for, you know, a troubled man like this,” Barr added.
According to the current charge, prosecutors reviewed recordings of Trump bragging about sensitive papers and admitting that he did not declassify them. Investigators also have access to notes from at least one of Trump’s own attorneys, who said the former president sought to conceal sensitive papers from his own legal team and the FBI, according to the indictment.
When asked about the severity of the indictment, notably the obstruction of justice allegations, Barr stated, “it’s very strong, because a lot of the evidence comes from his own lawyers.” Furthermore, there is evidence of his stating things that contradict any notion that this was a simple paperwork dispute.”
In a 2022 interview with Today ahead of the release of his memoir One Damn Thing After Another, Barr described Trump as “a man who, when he’s told something he doesn’t want to hear, he immediately throws a tantrum and attacks the person personally.”
In response to those comments, Trump said the former attorney general had “no guts,” and “no glory” in post on his social media site, Truth Social.
“[Barr] was a weak and pathetic RINO, who was so afraid of being Impeached that he became a captive to the Radical Left Democrats,” Trump wrote.