(CNSNews.com) - In their zeal to damage President Donald Trump, Democrats and their media allies also damaged the United States by promulgating the "big lie" about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, says former Attorney General William Barr.
Barr, in his newly released book, predicted what might happen in Ukraine, even before Russia invaded the independent country. "And I felt that Putin would view Biden as weak and would try to take advantage of that by moving -- by grabbing whatever he wanted," Barr told Fox News's Bret Baier on Monday.
"One of the problems was Russiagate," Barr said:
"I think Russiagate was not only a, you know, a despicable, dirty trick that hobbled the first part of the president's administration, but it also effected great damage to United States.
"Russiagate essentially froze the Trump administration from engaging with Russia. Now, that may have been a second-term issue if the president had won re-election.
"But when Biden won, I felt that there would be no incentive on the part of the Russians to try to use diplomacy to reach a stable modus vivendi, and that they would just grab what they wanted under Biden.
"And then when he had the kind of exit from Afghanistan which he did, and then when he essentially took America out of energy independence, increasing the leverage of Russia dramatically, I thought it was inevitable."
Barr noted that the "mainstream media" has labeled Trump's claim of a stolen election as "the big lie."
"They are forgetting that there was a big lie at the beginning of the...Trump administration. And that was one that was propelled and fanned by the media largely," Barr said.
"The Clinton administration played a big role in getting that ball rolling. The idea that Trump victory was illegitimate because of collusion with Russia. It was completely false, there was never any basis for it. And yet, it kept the president pinned down for the first half of his administration."
Barr said he agreed to join the Trump administration to help it succeed. And while he appreciates Trump's "good, sound record," he believes it came to a bad end because of Trump's "lack of self-control."
"I've been a dedicated conservative Republican my entire life," Barr said:
"I tried to write a fair and balanced book. And I supported Trump. I went into the administration to help stabilize the administration. I think it was, overall, a successful administration.
"After the election, I saw him change. He wouldn't -- he would not listen to his advisors, he was very headstrong, and he was listening only to people who told him exactly what he wanted to hear, which was that the election was stolen.
"And I looked at those claims and the stuff that was being thrown out there about the machines and all the other notions that they had was just not true. It was demonstrably not true. And I felt they were doing a great disservice to continue saying that it was stolen."
Baier asked Barr if he would vote for Trump if he is the Republican presidential nominee in 2024.
"Well, I think the greatest threat to the United States is the progressive agenda," Barr responded. "And I think it was a reaction against that agenda to brought -- that brought Trump to power, frankly.
"I don't think he should be our nominee," Barr said. "And I will certainly not support him in the primary process. But it's inconceivable to me that I'll be voting for a Democrat in the ultimate election.
"And so, if he is the nominee, looking at things now, and obviously a lot can change in three years. It's it's inconceivable to me that I wouldn't vote for him as the Republican nominee. I hope that doesn't happen."