The Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread fraud in this year's election, Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press on Tuesday in remarks that directly contradict the President Trump's baseless claims that the vote was rigged.
Trump has refused to concede his election loss to Joe Biden and instead has pushed unfounded allegations of systemic fraud to claim the vote was stolen. His lawyers have failed to provide evidence in court to back up the claims and conspiracy theories the president has propagated on Twitter.
Now, in an interview with the AP, the attorney general says the Justice Department hasn't found any evidence either.
"To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election," Barr said.
Barr said that U.S. attorneys and the FBI have looked into specific allegations but that they have found nothing that would affect the outcome of the election.
Trump's legal team of Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis immediately pushed back against Barr's comments.
"With all due respect to the attorney general, there hasn't been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation," they said in a statement.
They said they had gathered "ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states," which they said the department had not examined. The states were not named in the statement. Giuliani and Ellis said they would continue their legal fight.
Admission follows allegations
That aside, the attorney general's acknowledgement about the department not uncovering any widespread fraud was a major admission.
Before the election, Barr had been in lockstep with the president about what they said were the dangers of mail-in voting. The practice was, they claimed without evidence, ripe for fraud and manipulation.
"It absolutely opens the floodgates to fraud," Barr said at one point this summer.
Election security experts, however, said all along that just wasn't true.
Ultimately, the 2020 vote was "the most secure in American history" in the words of the Trump administration's own election security experts.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a statement in mid-November that "there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised."
President Trump fired the CISA director, Christopher Krebs, after that statement was released.
Speaking in an NPR interview on Tuesday, Krebs stood by his earlier assessment.
"This was a secure election," he said. "That is a success story. That is something everyone in the administration should be proud of. That's the story I feel we should be telling now."