Bill Barr says he will vote ‘the Republican ticket’ – despite once calling Trump a ‘9-year-old child’

Bill Barr, Donald Trump’s hand-picked attorney general-turned-vocal critic, appears to have had a major change of heart as he has now announced that he will “support the Republican ticket” in the 2024 presidential election.

Asked on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday about whether or not he would support the former president in November, Mr Barr responded: “I’ve said all along given two bad choices, I think it’s my duty to pick the person I think would do the least harm to the country.”

While he didn’t name Mr Trump specifically, he said: “And in my mind, I will vote the Republican ticket. I will support the Republican ticket.

“I think the real danger to the country – the real danger to democracy, as I say – is the progressive agenda.”

The Trump administration former attorney general added: “Trump may be playing Russian roulette, but a continuation of the Biden administration is national suicide in my opinion.”

Mr Barr also discussed Mr Trump’s hush money trial – the landmark criminal case marking the first time in American history that a sitting or former president has gone on criminal trial.

The former president faces 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments made to conceal alleged affairs ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr Barr called the historic case “an abomination” and “obviously political,” remarking on the length of time it took for prosecutors to bring the case – echoing Mr Trump’s lawyers’ claims that a statute of limitations should result in the case being dismissed.

The claim didn’t work and the trial got under way on Monday – with jury selection still ongoing.

Donald Trump with Bill Barr in the Cabinet Room of the White House in 2020 (AFP via Getty Images)
Donald Trump with Bill Barr in the Cabinet Room of the White House in 2020 (AFP via Getty Images)

The former attorney general’s comments mark a major u-turn coming just months after he said he was opposed to Mr Trump becoming the Republican presumptive nominee.

Speaking to Fox News in December, he said “I don’t think he’s going to move the country forward”.

In the same interview, he warned about what he believed could happen during another Mr Trump presidency.

“His style of governance, his continuing to pander to anger and frustration versus a constructive approach to solving our problem is going to be chaotic and not going to accomplish very much,” Mr Barr said in December.

He explained that, during his first term, the “main way” to negotiate with Mr Trump over “bad ideas” was to point out how these ideas “would hurt his prospects for a second term”. But if he is re-elected, that threat of a future loss is no longer there, Mr Barr argued.

In July, Mr Barr also scathingly compared Mr Trump to “a defiant nine-year-old kid who’s always pushing his glass towards the end of the table, defying his parents to stop him from doing it”.

Months prior, he warned that a second Trump term would “deliver chaos” to America.