No matter who you are, if Donald Trump no longer needs you, then you’re gone. Every person in Trump’s orbit is always one insult or blowup away from ouster and enemy status. No matter how many times this same script plays out, there are somehow many people still waiting in the wings, eager to learn the same lesson.
As Trump’s Attorney General for nearly two years, Bill Barr proved himself to be an unapologetic enabler of Trump and promoter of Trumpism. Misrepresenting key aspects of the Mueller Report and ordering the forceful dispersal of peaceful protesters around Lafayette Square for Trump’s depraved photo op with a Bible rank among Barr’s greatest hits.
In December 2020, Barr finally discovered a line he could not cross, and the altercation with Trump led to his resignation. Thanks to a new interview of Barr with NBC News’ Lester Holt, we now have more insight into what happened. When Trump called Barr into his private dining room to question him about recent comments refuting the Big Lie, Barr did not back down. As Barr proceeded to dismantle every conspiracy theory Trump proposed, he watched Trump grow enraged.
Acknowledging Trump’s disappointment, Barr then offered to resign. “Boom!” Barr shouted, recalling how Trump slapped the desk and yelled, “Accepted! Accepted!” before ordering Barr to go home. White House attorneys quickly assured Barr he was not fired, however he wound up submitting his resignation letter soon thereafter.
In announcing Barr’s resignation, Trump tweeted, “Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job!” Now, following Barr’s new interview some 15 months later, Trump is singing a different tune. In a statement issued Friday, Trump slammed Barr as “weak, ineffective, and totally scared of being impeached,” and he criticized him for failing at everything “because he wanted to save his own hide.”
While this incident may seem extraordinary, it is so predictable and displays the remarkable extent to which Trump has neither loyalty nor appreciation even for his most devoted soldiers. Like so many before him, Barr now admits in his upcoming book, “People are worthwhile to Trump only as means to his ends—as utensils. When they don’t help him get what he wants, they are useless.” Indeed, Barr learned the hard way that he has never been more to Trump than just another plastic fork.