Then-President Donald Trump’s attorney general thought his lies and conspiracy theories claiming massive voting fraud in the 2020 election were “bullshit” and “crazy stuff”—and Trump’s daughter Ivanka agreed.
The House Jan. 6 Select Committee opened its much-anticipated hearings on Thursday evening by showing videotaped depositions of both Attorney General Bill Barr and Ivanka Trump.
Barr testified that he told Trump that the claims of widespread voting fraud were “bullshit,” and warned that claims by Trump and his allies that voting machines had been rigged against him had “zero basis” in reality.
“There was actually zero basis for the allegations, but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn't count and that these machines controlled by somebody else were actually determining it which was complete nonsense,” Barr testified. “I told them that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time and it was doing a great grave disservice for the country.”
The committee then asked Ivanka Trump, in a separate deposition, whether Barr’s comments had influenced her views on whether her dad’s conspiracy theories were true. She said that they had.
"It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying,” she testified in April.
Ivanka Trump didn’t seem to do much to discourage her father’s coup attempts, however.
After the insurrection began on Jan. 6, she tweeted calling the rioters “American patriots” while urging peace. She later deleted the tweet.
The hearing is the first of six scheduled by the January 6 Select Committee as it seeks to lay out for the American public the details of how Trump attempted a legal coup to stay in power after losing the 2020 election—then incited a mob to attack the Capitol when his legal options failed.
“President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack,” Committee Ranking Member and Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said.