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Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr told AP on Tuesday that the Department of Justice has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: It's a direct repudiation of President Trump's baseless claims of a "rigged" election from one of the most loyal members of his Cabinet.

What they're saying: "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election," Barr told AP.

  • "There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven't seen anything to substantiate that," he added.

The big picture: The president's campaign and his allies have spent the past four weeks filing dozens of failed lawsuits and promoting conspiratorial allegations of widespread fraud.

  • Barr's comments are sure to prompt fury from the president, who has lashed out at other Republican officials who have contradicted his baseless election claims.
  • On Sunday, President Trump suggested in an interview with Fox News that the Justice Department could be "involved" in the conspiracy to "rig" the election.
  • "You would think if you’re in the FBI or Department of Justice, this is the biggest thing you could be looking at. Where are they? I’ve not seen anything," Trump said.

Between the lines: Earlier this month, Barr authorized U.S. attorneys to conduct investigations into alleged voter fraud if there are "clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities" that could change the outcome of a federal election in a particular state.

  • He told AP that the FBI and prosecutors are continuing to follow up on specific complaints, but have not seen any evidence yet that would overturn the results of the election.
  • “Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. They are not systemic allegations. And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on.”

The other side: Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis responded to Barr's comments in a statement Tuesday, claiming the Justice Department has not conducted "any semblance" of an investigation — including by auditing voting machines or using subpoena powers.

  • “Nonetheless, we will continue our pursuit of the truth through the judicial system and state legislatures, and continue toward the Constitution’s mandate and ensuring that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is not," Giuliani and Ellis added.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”