Bill Barr claims Trump is removed from reality

The former US Attorney General says he believes Donald Trump was “detached from reality” after the 2020 election, a Congressional jury heard.

Bill Barr’s testimony during the January 6 Capitol investigation revealed deep divisions in Trump’s campaign over his allegations of election fraud. Two camps emerged: a “Team Normal” which accepted the loss of Trump and the loyalists who did not.

The jury accused Trump of attempting a coup to stay in power. Monday’s session, the second in a series of public hearings, was preceded by the announcement that a star witness – Mr Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien – would not appear because his wife had gone to work.

Instead, his attorney released a statement on his behalf, and Mr. Stepien’s earlier private testimony was released publicly by the Democratic-led Special Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. In it, Stepien revealed that members of Trump’s inner circle advised him not to declare victory in the November 2020 election.

A fraction of the campaign he called “Team Normal” told the former president they lost the election, Stepien said, but another group refused to accept the result. It became known as “Rudy’s Team,” named after former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s staunchest supporters for claiming the election was stolen.

Both Mr. Stepien and another witness, former Trump adviser Jason Miller, testified that Mr. Giuliani appeared to be drunk on election night. Mr. Miller said that despite the results continuing to come in, Mr. Giuliani suggested that Trump “declare victory and say we won it immediately.”

Through a spokesperson on Monday, Mr. Giuliani denied being drunk on election night and said he did not know why Mr. Miller “would make such a false statement”. Among those who warned the then president against declaring victory was former attorney general Bill Barr, who in a videotaped statement said he repeatedly to Mr. calls “crazy stuff”.

However, Mr. Trump refused to acknowledge those concerns and continued to spread allegations of fraud, Mr. Barr said. He testified that he was “demoralized” by his boss’s claims.

“I thought, ‘Guys, if he really believes these things, he’s lost touch with him – he’s disconnected from reality, if he really believes it,'” he said. The select committee on January 6 is trying to show that the former president’s election fraud allegations led directly to an attack on the United States Capitol.

“He and his closest advisors knew those claims were false,” California Democratic Rep Zoe Lofgren said, referring to Trump. “But they kept selling them anyway.”

The commission will hold further hearings on Wednesday and Thursday at the end of this week. Members of the select committee present additional evidence in their case that former President Donald Trump was responsible for last year’s chaotic attack on the US Capitol.

The hearing is quieter today — the second time committee members have made their case public — and fewer members of Congress are here. The challenge for the committee members is to convince Republicans of their point of view. According to a CBS News poll, about half of Republicans think the people who stormed the Capitol are patriots. They have a deep animosity toward the federal government, and the number of “persuasions”—political language for those who can be persuaded to a different point of view—is low. Upon entering the building, a protester held up a sign that seemed to sum up the sentiments of many of these Republicans. “Wake up the Federal Scum,” it read.