Former US President Donald Trump said he dismissed the views of his own lawyers in continuing to challenge his 2020 defeat because he did not respect them, saying in an interview aired on Sunday that he had made up his mind that the election was “rigged” – a false claim he continues to make.
Trump, the Republican front-runner to face Democratic President Joe Biden in the 2024 election, is now facing four ongoing criminal charges, two of which include his attempts to reverse his 2020 loss to Biden.
“It was my decision,” Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the election was “rigged” against him, adding that he relied primarily on his “instincts” in reaching that determination.
Trump has continued to make false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud.
Asked why he dismissed the views of lawyers in the White House and his campaign that he had lost the election, Trump responded: “Because I didn’t respect them.”
Trump singled out former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who told him that he had lost the election, as one of the lawyers whose advice he did not follow.
“I listened to some people,” Trump said. “Guys like Bill Barr, who was a stiff, but he wasn’t there at the time. But he didn’t do his job because he was afraid.”
Trump has pleaded not guilty in all four criminal cases, including a federal prosecution in Washington and a Georgia state indictment that involve to his attempts to recruit a slate of phony electors for congressional certification of the 2020 election results.
His comments on Sunday could undermine one of his possible legal defenses – that he relied on the advice of his lawyers in continuing to challenge his defeat. U.S. courts threw out dozens of legal challenges from Trump’s campaign and allies following the November 2020 election.