This is a rush transcript from "Life, Liberty & Levin," August 9, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARK LEVIN, HOST: Hello America, I'm Mark Levin. This is "Life, Liberty & Levin."
We have a great guest, Attorney General Bill Barr, how are you sir?
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Pretty good. Pretty good, Mark. Good to be here.
LEVIN: Here's what I promise. We're going to have a discussion and I'm never going to reclaim my time. So when I ask you a question, you are going to actually have time to answer the question.
LEVIN: And we have a lot to cover, but I want to start with the House Judiciary Committee. I was a Chief of Staff to an Attorney General, Edwin Meese. We had some very difficult hearings from time to time.
I've never seen anything like this before. Obviously, it was coordinated. The goal was to have you up there and try and treat you like a pinata. Absolutely disrespectful.
What were you thinking while that was going on? And what do you make of this? You've been Attorney General twice now.
BARR: I think they were afraid to have me speak and so they decided to burn up all the time and not give me any time to answer. So, I quickly caught on to the tactic.
LEVIN: And what do you make of the change of the whole nature of hearings now? I mean, they accused you of being a murderer, a terrorist.
I was getting nervous that somebody might grab a Molotov cocktail from behind the table and throw it at you. What do you make of this?
BARR: Well, you know, I have the perspective of having been Attorney General 30 years ago and now and I thought things were partisan and tough 30 years ago, nothing compared to today. Things have fundamentally changed.
And I think what has happened, and I've been thinking about this because, you know, in the old days, you could have friends across the aisle. You know, politics was part of your life, but it wasn't all-consuming. It wasn't everything. You could have communications and so forth with others, but it's now become all-consuming for many people.
And I think what's happened is that the leftwing has really withdrawn and pulled away from the umbrella of classical liberal values that have undergirded our society since our founding. And, you know, within the family, we've had two ways of resolving disputes, one is discussion, the dialectic, the marketplace of ideas, trying to arrive at the truth. We had an idea that there was some truth to arrive at.
And then if we couldn't reach agreement, a vote, and that's how we -- that's how we operated.
Nowadays, you have -- I think the left has essentially withdrawn from this model, and really represents Rousseau-ian Revolutionary Party that believes in tearing down the system, that what's wrong about America today all has to do with the institutions we have, and we have to tear them down and they're interested in complete political victory.
They're not interested in compromise. They're not interested in dialectic exchange of views. They're interested in total victory. And that's -- it's a secular religion. It's a substitute for religion. They view their political opponents as evil that because we stand in the way of their progressive utopia that they're trying to reach.
And that's what gives the intensity to the partisan feelings that people feel today because for them, this pilgrimage we're all on is a political pilgrimage. Everything is reduced to politics.
For people who don't have that perspective, politics is important, but it's not the whole purpose of life.
LEVIN: Do you think this sort of Rousseau-ian ideology, or Hegelism -- that ballpark -- do you think it has devoured the Democratic Party in the last couple of years now? And does that explain why during this hearing and other opportunities, they will not condemn the violence? They will not condemn Antifa.
Ted Cruz had a hearing the other day, one of the Democrat senators would not condemn Antifa. Do you think that's part of it? Absolutely.
BARR: I mean, I said during my hearing, can any of you just come out and say it's not okay to burn down Federal courthouses?
I mean, they talk about the rule of law. They talk about the importance of the Federal legal system, the protection of Civil Rights. Well, the heart of that is our court system and they're not willing, not one of them piped up to say no, it's not okay to be burning down Federal courts.
Why? Some of them are true believers, some of them are essentially revolutionary in their outlook. They believe in tearing down the system.
But many of them are just cowards, who are mostly interested in getting reelected and are afraid of you know -- about a challenge from the left. So for them, it's careerism. You know, I sort of like my current gig and I'll do anything to stay here and I won't stand up for what is right. I won't stand up for the country. I won't stand up for our institutions.
LEVIN: Are you shocked of what's going on with police forces in this country? The brazen attack on police officers by Antifa and Black Lives Matter and other revolutionary groups and the failure of local politicians to whom they report, to protect them and defend them and to protect and defend the citizens of these communities. Is this not shocking?
BARR: It is shocking, you know, even before the events in Minneapolis. I was speaking, since I became Attorney General, again, about how in a full employment economy, which we did have and we will have again that we have to be careful because policing is becoming a very difficult and dangerous job and you have to -- in order to attract the best people there, you have to be supportive of them.
And I was worried about the vacancy rates and the fact that it is hard to keep police in many of our major cities and then we had this turn of events where they've been demonized.
The fact is, generally speaking, we have superb police in this country, very professional forces. And you know, these events do happen. We have over 600,000 police in this country and there will be some instances of excessive force. But by and large, it's an excellent police force, and if they're going to be demonized like this, they're not going to work in these cities.
So maybe there'll be a self-correcting mechanism. If communities don't support the police, they are going to have a hard time getting police.
LEVIN: And they're going to depopulate these communities. They're going to leave. Governor Cuomo the other day was begging millionaires and billionaires to stay in New York City. I don't think cooking dinner for them is going to replace safety.
Let me read something to you, Gatestone Institute, international policy about Antifa. I don't think people really understand Antifa, and they say, "Empirical and anecdotal evidence shows that Antifa is in fact highly networked, well-funded, has a global presence. It has a flat organizational structure with dozens and possibly hundreds of local groups."
And by the way, the oldest group is in Portland. They say, "Antifa's stated long term objective both in America and abroad," and it got its birth in Europe, England than Germany then the United States, " ... is to establish a communist world order."
And by the way, this information is put out. It's not like we're conspiracy theorists or so forth. "In the United States, Antifa's immediate aim is to bring down the demise of the Trump administration."
It's an attack on capitalism. They say they're attacking fascism when they're Marxist fascists and such thing, to bring down the Trump administration. It's interesting that one of the cofounders of Black Lives Matter, said that one of her focuses is to bring down the Trump administration.
What is it about the Trump administration that stands in their way?
BARR: Well, I think they would be, you know, generally for bringing down any administration. They are a revolutionary group that is interested in in some form of socialism, communism. They're essentially Bolsheviks. Their tactics are fascistic. And your description of them is consistent with what I've seen.
With the Trump administration, you know, a lot of it has been the demonization of the Trump administration from day one. I went back and I watched his victory speech after election night. People should go back and look at it. It was very measured. It was a very statesman like speech. He offered the olive branch. He praised Hillary Clinton, thanked her for all her service to the country, talked about working together to make things better for the American people. That was the day he won.
And from that point forward, there's been no resistance. They were trying to impeach him from day one. They have done everything they can. They've shredded the norms of our system to do what they can to drive him from office or to debilitate his administration.
And I think it's because of the desire for power that the left wants power because that is essentially their state of grace and their secular religion. They want to run people's lives so they can design utopia for all of us.
That's what -- you know, that's what turns them on, and it's the lust for power and they weren't expecting Trump's victory and it outrages them.
LEVIN: And this document, this research, they talk about the roots of Antifa and the Baader-Meinhof Gang, and Germany, and other really violent radical organizations in the United States similar to the Black Panthers, similar to the Weather Underground, except they're more networked. They're better organized.
They seem to have more ammunition of sorts to use against police officers and so forth, and apparently, they get a lot of their funding online.
I have to believe that our agencies and so forth are really trying to construct some kind of scenario about what we're dealing with and how to undo this. Am I close?
BARR: It's a form of sort of -- it's a new form of urban guerrilla warfare. You know, Mao used to speak -- Mao Zedong used to speak about the gorilla being like fish, swimming in the ocean, the way the guerilla moves through the people. They will hide out among the people as a fish in the ocean.
And what they do is they are essentially shielding themselves or shrouding themselves in First Amendment activity. They go into the demonstrations which are exercising First Amendment activity and they insinuate themselves in there to shield themselves so that's where they swim.
And what they do is they hijack these demonstrations and they provoke violence and they have various tiers of people from the sort of top provocateurs down through people who are their minions and sort of run the violent missions.
But it's a difficult phenomenon to deal with. They're highly organized at these demonstrations. And, you know, these tactics that they use are designed -- and the way the media responds to them, of course. The media doesn't take footage of what's happening. They don't take the footage of the rocks being thrown.
LEVIN: I want to ask about the media when we come back.
LEVIN: Because it seems to me you're onto something here, and these organizations know how to play the media, again, based on what I'm reading and based on what I'm seeing, and that is, they're extraordinarily violent and they try to provoke a police response.
And then the police are called by the Speaker of the House, Stormtroopers. They're called Gestapo. They're called Secret Police. They're aligned with the Third Reich and Nazis.
When we come back, I want to explore this with you.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
LEVIN: Welcome back. Mr. Attorney General, we're talking about the media. You don't really get a fair break in the media, do you? Plus, we have the citizen reporters who have these videos of these events which are quite different than what we get a lot of times from the media which seems to be sort of censoring the violence. No?
BARR: Absolutely, you know, they are projecting a narrative. When that word "narrative" came into currency, I knew we were in trouble because the word "narrative" really suggest that there's no objective truth. There's no real story of what happened. It's just everyone has their own narrative, and you get to then the press can justify presenting a story that doesn't really correspond with objective truth, but that it is our narrative. We have a narrative, you have a narrative.
I've been appalled on this violence because it's happening right out in the streets. Anyone with eyes can see what's happening. They see the violence. They see these groups of agitators in their black outfits, and their helmets and their shields, which incidentally have the hammer and sickle on them most of the time rushing the police, causing violence, throwing rocks, people showing up with the rocks and the frozen bottles. That's happening. That's happening in front of people.
You don't see it on any of the national news. You don't see it on the networks. You don't see it on the other cable stations. And yet, you hear about these peaceful demonstrators.
So it's -- you know, it's just -- it's a lie. The American people are being told a lie by the media.
LEVIN: Maybe you'll see it rarely, so they can comment themselves and say, "You see that." But if you don't look fast, you miss it. But you're exactly right. I find the best coverage right now are these brave citizen reporters who go in there with their iPhones. Some of them get their brains beaten out. They get horribly beaten.
And sometimes you'll have situations where the mayor has told the police to stand down and they're getting beaten and nobody is there to defend them and it's an amazing thing to watch the media here.
You would think the media will be defending even citizen reporters with their iPhones and so for forth, but they're not. Do you think the media -- and I've written about this myself -- but do you think the media has become so ideological that it's just utterly unreliable, particularly some of these cable shows?
BARR: Well, it's reliable. It's reliable for being partisan nowadays, I think.
You know, as you and I know, the First Amendment apply to every individual citizen. This was the day of the pamphlet and everyone's speech is the same.
But we're talking here about corporations. Corporations that are in the media business and there were a few of them and they all pretty much tow the party line. The difference in content, in terms of the news reporting is all the same.
I like it when Fox goes through some of the reporting of each channel, how they use exactly the same phraseology and same talking points and that's what you see. It's become extremely monolithic and it's wedded in many ways to the Democratic Party. It's a partisan press, largely.
LEVIN: There's a recent serious research study, a couple of professors put out, I think this week, maybe last week in the University of Illinois that undergirds your point. They say, there are these bubbles and these micro bubbles so tiny is the circle that some of these media folks live in, they have no conception about what's going on out there.
For instance, I don't see most of the hosts who are commenting on what's going on in Portland -- in Portland. You know, if you're a news person, I would think -- but we have a correspondent, but you're commenting on it all the time, and that is an opinion person, but as a news person.
And then you say it's mostly peaceful. What does that mean? That means in some cases, it's not, right? So you can have minorities -- a number of sessions ones where it's not mostly peaceful. That makes it extremely dangerous.
So even the language is kind of odd, as far as I'm concerned.
BARR: Take the recent example of us trying to address the upsurge in violent crime and it has come along with the demonization of police forces.
We've seen throughout the city, the major cities, surging crime, and many, many black deaths as a result. Those black deaths don't seem to matter as much to the people who are proclaiming black lives matter. I believe black lives matter.
But I believe all black lives matter. I also believe that it's not just a matter of protecting their safety from physical harm. It's also providing economic opportunity, which this administration has done. It's also giving them a meaningful education that allows them to seize that opportunity.
I think there is systemic racism in this country, but I think the best example of systemic racism that I'm talking about is the educational system, which has relegated our inner city children to schools that are failing and fail them.
And the President, as you know, is for school choice to give the buying -- put the buying parents of every -- the hands of every inner city kid so they can pick their education. And safety -- safety on the streets.
You can't have a community life and economic progress without safety. These are the things that we should be providing to the inner city, holistically.
But, you know, the media recently has looked at our efforts to bring some justice to the streets of these communities that are suffering the violence, and then they equate that with jackboot, you know, what they refer to as jackbooted Federal agents calling in to crush protesters. They don't -- you know, it's either, you know, an amazing lack of understanding of what's happening around them or it is deliberate.
LEVIN: And they don't live there, they don't send their kids there and they don't shop there.
BARR: They buy their way out of there.
LEVIN: The inconvenience. When we return, I want to ask you about some of the other matters that have been percolating.
I'm curious about the Michael Flynn case and how you went about having that looked at again, in order to make the judgment that you've made.
We'll be right back.
MARIANNE RAFFERTY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Live from "America's News Headquarters," I'm Marianne Rafferty.
President Trump on his way back to Washington and back to a deadlocked Congress at odds over the next Coronavirus Relief Bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats have called. They'd like to get together. And we say if it's not a waste of time, we'll do it. But if it is a waste of time, it doesn't make sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAFFERTY: The President saying he is willing to negotiate with Democrats after signing four Executive Orders yesterday, and hinting that he may make the payroll tax cut permanent.
When asked about the potential impact on Social Security, the President said the policy would only affect the General Fund and would have no negative impact.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called the President's actions quote, "absurdly unconstitutional."
I'm Marianne Rafferty, now back to LIFE, LIBERTY & LEVIN.
LEVIN: Attorney General Barr, or as they used to call Ed Meese, and I think they call you General Barr.
LEVIN: The Mike Flynn case. You decided to have a United States Attorney independent from Washington, independent from everything by the name of Jensen, to take a look at this case.
Tell us a little bit about that process.
BARR: Well, that case had been going on, you know, I came in as Attorney General, while still going on and after he had pled, I believe, but in any event, it was being challenged by his lawyer, and she filed a lot of motions and made a lot of allegations about the government's conduct and so forth, and raised some points.
LEVIN: Sidney Powell.
BARR: Yes, Sidney Powell -- and she also raised some points about whether he had effective assistance of counsel because of a conflict of interest and so forth.
And I think everyone who knew anything about that case thought it was a bit hanky. The case was sort of hanky. It didn't all add up.
Because the call on its face was perfectly a legitimate call for the incoming National Security Adviser to make. And so I asked the U.S. Attorney at that point because of all of these attacks by the defense counsel on the department's handling of it, to take a look at it.
And this is a man who was 10 years an F.B.I. agent, 10 years as a career prosecutor in the department, and a top lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri.
And I asked him to take a look at it and he did and he found a lot of things that had not come to light before, had not been provided to Flynn or Flynn's lawyer that showed, for example, that the F.B.I. agents who interviewed -- it showed clearly that the F.B.I. agents who interviewed Flynn did not think he was lying that this was later minimized in testimony suggesting, well, they meant he didn't break out into sweat. His eye pupils didn't contract. That's all they were saying, no.
They were saying they didn't believe that he thought he was lying at the time. And you know, various other facts like that about what the real purpose of the of the interview was, which looked to Jensen as if it was essentially held just to try to -- it did not have -- it was untethered to any legitimate investigative purpose. Its sole purpose was to try to get him to lie.
So based on those factors and the fact that I didn't think it met the standards of prosecution of the Department of Justice, I decided to drop the case.
LEVIN: It's interesting to me, how many civil liberties groups supported your decision? ACLU?
BARR: No, in fact, none of the defense groups that would normally be jumping up and down here, because one of the arguments being made is, you know, he shouldn't be able to withdraw his plea. Well, most defense lawyers in the country would say that's outrageous. But here, of course, they're silent.
You know, this has to do with the rule of law. You know, the people -- many of my critics are constantly spouting the term rule of law. They don't know what it means. I don't think they've ever really thought about it.
But the rule of law means at its core, that any rule you apply to a person, you have to be willing to and in fact do apply to the next and the next who is similarly situated. That's an important discipline that protects all of us, because it means anything the government is going to do to me, they're going to be willing to do to someone else in my position.
And that means that rules generally, if you really believe that and think about it, it means the rules will be reasonable -- reasonably applied. And that didn't happen.
And whenever I've intervened in a case, I don't consider it intervening, I'm the Attorney General, and people are exercising the power of the Attorney General. But whenever I'm supervising a case that I don't think is being handled fairly to the individual, because the individual is being singled out and treated differently, I'll stop that, because that's what the rule of law is all about and that's what people are essentially complaining about.
LEVIN: Doesn't this get back to your broader point early on that given the times and given what's happened to politics, that even a recent decision, one that's based on an independent United States Attorney who is a seasoned, really, civil servant prosecutor, seasoned F.B.I. agent, you take that, you apply it, you make a decision?
I mean, what if he got all that information and you decided otherwise? Wouldn't that be peculiar?
LEVIN: And so you stand up for the rule of law. One of the areas I also want to get into briefly is Russia collusion. So we had this investigation going on and you had another independent U.S. Attorney who served in Republican and Democrat administrations by the name of Durham out of Connecticut.
And he is conducting the investigation. I think it would be helpful for Sylvia, my mother in law, and for the whole nation to understand when they say, why aren't we indicting somebody? Why aren't we indicting them today? You have the power to indict somebody today or in some kind of clock -- or how does that work?
BARR: Well, you know, part of the rule of law as far as I'm concerned, and one thing I want to get back to is not using criminal justice system as a political tool. I think it has been in the past, I think the whole Russiagate thing was an instance of that. It is used as a weapon.
And what I want to do is make it clear that we will indict people only when we are satisfied that the standards of the Department have been met, which means that we believe a crime has been committed by this person and we have proof beyond a reasonable doubt to prove it.
LEVIN: To convict them.
BARR: To convict them, and we have to go to a grand jury and the grand jury has to agree to get the indictment and to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, is a high standard. And I think all political sides have gotten into the habit in this country of just sort of saying that their political opponents have done something terrible.
They think it's terrible. You know, it's enough for me to conclude he is terrible. Why isn't he in prison?
LEVIN: Let me ask you this. So people -- you have a grand jury, what's their job?
BARR: Their job is to make the decision -- to return a bill of indictment.
LEVIN: You have the U.S. Attorney, what's his job?
BARR: To present the evidence to the grand jury.
LEVIN: And so they basically will decide if somebody should or should not be indicted, and then you're more or less informed about it and have the final say.
LEVIN: So you're not the first tier of this. So when people say to you, when is so and so going to be indicted? You don't really have a clue until that is really teed up, do you?
BARR: That's right. I mean, you know, as you said, John Durham, 35-year veteran of the Department, worked for both Republican and Democratic Attorneys General on special projects, because people have a great deal of confidence in his ability, and he is meticulous. And he is about gathering all the evidence that people lose track of.
You know, I think people have to realize that in this process, the witnesses have lawyers. Sometimes they won't talk to you.
LEVIN: Slows it down.
BARR: They slow it down. Sometimes they will take the Fifth Amendment unless you give them immunity, and so forth.
Also, there was a sprawling number of issues to be looked at here and there are a lot of different conspiracy theories, and part of our responsibility is to look at all of these things so we can assure people that these various theories have been looked at and so this takes some time.
LEVIN: You think the public has a reason to be angry about -- we will call it the whole Russia collusion stuff, what took place? Now, that we have more and more information coming out on the public record, forget about probable cause, the public record. We now have testimony that was given by senior officials in the Obama administration to the Schiff committee that's come out where not a single one of them believe there was Russia collusion.
And all of these other untoward things with the FISA Court, now we know about Comey conducting activity without telling the Attorney General of the United States. This was a really horrible thing, wasn't it?
BARR: Yes, to me, it is sort of the -- it is the doomsday scenario of abuse of government power, which is the party in power uses the Police and Intelligence Services to tilt the field against their political opponents.
And that's -- you know, that's terrible from a governmental and Civil Rights standpoint. But the media was part of this. And that's to me probably the worst aspect of it. The so-called watchdogs of the system, they became attack dogs. They weren't watchdogs. They had no critical -- they didn't use any critical faculties and facts, things that were clearly preposterous they took hook, line and sinker and they fanned the flames of this worse than anybody else.
They all got out on the limb. The limbs had been sawed off, but you wouldn't know it because there's no -- they don't even say whoops, we got that one wrong. They're on to the next conspiracy theory.
LEVIN: And they're not going to give their Pulitzers back, do they?
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
LEVIN: Welcome back. Mr. Attorney General, there's been a lot of controversy on these state lockdowns, particularly people of faith who want to go to church and they see that there's some decisions for casinos and abortion clinics. The people of faith are gun owners and so forth. How do you balance this? What do you make of this?
BARR: Well, you know, I'm sort of amused because I'm frequently attacked for being an advocate of executive power when it comes to the presidency, and you know, when the President exercises some power, the left will say, well, what authority -- where does he get that authority from?
But it seems governors who are executives in each state, you know, they seem to be content of them having unfettered authority. They should have broad authority on an emergency to deal with disease. And, you know -- and many of the measures are critical to undertake, but the Constitution doesn't take a holiday, neither does Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and they have to be balanced against these measures and the measures have to be reasonable and tailored to address the government's interest, putting the least burden on rights.
That's the correct balance to strike, and guess what? Some governors I think, have gotten some things wrong over the past six months, and sometimes they've been capricious and arbitrary. And when those things happen, we've called it to our attention and most times they've corrected it voluntarily, without us suing.
So if they allow theatres and other get-togethers, but then they put stricter limits on church, that's a violation of constitutional rights. The church should not be treated worse than some commercial operation.
So for example -- and I was disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision where they knocked down a stay recently because I felt that --
LEVIN: Now that involved a church raising the question, hey, how come we have a bigger limitation on the number of people we can have in the church than the casinos?
BARR: Right. So that yes, they were allowing casinos and commercial operations to have certain number of people and so forth, and then churches, no matter what the size. I mean, you could have a Basilica that could accommodate 1,200 people, and they would still have this one size fits all, just 10 people.
And we were telling states and a lot of states went along with us on this because they agreed it was more reasonable, just have a percentage of your Fire Marshal limitation.
If your church can take 200, maybe 20 percent of that. Don't go with an absolute number, because it makes -- it doesn't adjust for the size of the church.
So there's nothing -- you know, we were supporting social distancing, but we also oppose these arbitrary rules. Sometimes these rules treat businesses differently without a reasonable basis. So we were calling those instances to the governor's attention and most times they change the rule to be more reasonable.
LEVIN: This is covered by the First Amendment, like peaceful protests are covered by First Amendment, but isn't it interesting the people who talk about mostly peaceful protests, many of them are taking the opposite side.
When it comes from utterly peaceful church gatherings, they are very silent and that would include the media, would it not?
BARR: Absolutely. Well, this goes back to the -- you know, there's a lot of hypocrisy today, and this, again, goes back to this idea of the rule of law. If you are like us, you know, relatively conservative, you try to be disciplined and say, well, if I apply that rule here, I will have to apply it to the next.
We've lost -- you know, a lot of people don't think that way anymore. It's like, well, I'm going to do what impulsively I think I like here, and I'll worry about the next case later. I won't try to reconcile them because when it comes to that next case, I'll do impulsively what I think is right there.
We see that more and more in the courts. Not so much maybe with the new Trump judges, but you know, I think there's less of a feeling that you have to reconcile these different positions because they don't seem to compute.
But, you know, that goes back to intellectual consistency as part of the rule of law.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
LEVIN: Welcome back, America. Mr. Attorney General, a lot of talk about mail-in votes. When we see what goes on in some of these states, it's a little scary. I don't see how more money is going to fix it in the period of 30 days in more and more states.
I mean, you have some mail-in votes in states, absentee ballots. You're talking about tens of millions now. That never took place before. What do you make of all of that?
BARR: I'm very worried about it. You know, as I said at the beginning, the two ways we have resolving disputes in our society in keeping the peace are discussion and voting.
And right now, we're a very divided country politically. Our elections have been very close. They can turn on one state. They turn on just a few districts.
And people have to have confidence in the outcome or we're going to have real power in this country, and I think the people who want to experiment with different ways of voting right now, which are predictably -- you know, can predictably create problems of integrity are playing with fire and are grossly irresponsible.
You know, mail-in voting has been used for people who, in individual cases where they can't go and vote, you go and you apply for a ballot. You get the ballot and you vote. There's no problem with that, especially for states that have been doing that for a while.
But the idea that without any request from the voter will mail out your voting list all of these thousands and thousands of ballots is scary because most of those mailings go to a lot of addresses where the people no longer live. They are misdirected.
And I think they will create a situation or they could easily create a situation where there's going to be contested election.
LEVIN: You know, what concerns me, you know, having worked for years in a legal foundation and we looked at a lot of this is any attempt to clean the voter rolls -- that is takeoff dead people, people who have moved to gone on other states, people who are -- their maiden name and then a married name -- it is attacked as suppressing the vote, as a systemically racist effort to affect the election.
I mean, I've heard this. We've heard this all along. So we know the rolls are not perfect and the Post Office is going to be mailing to those rolls. We know the Post Office isn't perfect.
We saw what happened in that district in New York. We saw what happened in New York generally, with the mail-in -- it was a disaster.
We saw thousands of ballots showing up out of nowhere in New Jersey. These are -- I mean, if you want test cases, these are test cases and to now have potentially 50 million or 60 million people vote this way, so why is one party pushing it and not another?
You don't have to answer that question. I'll tell you why I think unless you want to. It's because chaos supports a narrative that the President of the United States doesn't want to leave office. When in fact, the President of the United States never said I don't want to leave office.
He said, I'll look at the results in the election, and then I'll decide. I mean, Biden hired 600 litigators, right? He's not hiring them just because he wants lawyers. He is hiring them to go into state court and fight every ballot.
BARR: Right. And, you know, it's funny. We went and looked back at press coverage of this issue. It wasn't until Trump was elected that the media changed its tune. Before that, the media used to refer to mail-in ballots as you know, fraught with fraud, or raising questions of fraud or integrity of the vote.
It's only after -- it's only recently that they've now made it doctrinal that, oh, there's no issue with mail-in voting.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
LEVIN: Welcome back. Mr. Attorney General, it is your second tour as Attorney General. I don't know if we've had many Attorneys General that have done it twice. I'm glad you've done it a second time.
BARR: I'm not sure I'd use the word glad, but I'm --
BARR: I'm content with the decision. I hesitated a long time. I wasn't anxious to go back into government. I was very content with my life and I was heading toward retirement.
But I felt there was a time where given what was going on in the country, I had to step up when I was asked and I'm glad I did that.
You know, I knew there'd be a lot of ugliness which is one of the reasons I hesitated and in some ways, it's uglier than I thought. But that is, you know, the people attacking the administration and the idea of the resistance to the administration.
But there are parts that have been pleasantly surprising. I mean, the President, I think, is an excellent executive and President. There is robust conversation. He calls on people for their ideas and so forth.
I feel that, you know, the decisions that we make are well-vetted within the White House. And it's -- and my colleagues on the Cabinet are, I think very high-caliber individuals. So that part of it has been good.
LEVIN: And a lot of times, the President is nothing like he is portrayed in the media, is he?
BARR: Not at all.
LEVIN: Not at all?
LEVIN: Same with my experience. Smart, engaging, charismatic, a lot of fun. And he works tirelessly.
BARR: I've never seen such energy. He is always working. He cares about people. I think he enjoys the process of making the country better and work for everybody.
LEVIN: It's been a pleasure having you. Thank you for taking all this time with us. God bless you. And Godspeed.
BARR: Thanks, Mark.
LEVIN: See you next time on "Life, Liberty & Levin."
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