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John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.

  • "He told the truth: we don't find any evidence of vote-flipping algorithms, for God's sakes. If there's evidence, let's see it. Why can't we see the evidence? Because they don't have any, is the answer. This is the time to speak up."

Trump has been ranting about Barr's AP interview behind the scenes and has privately floated replacing Barr, as we reported last night. But it’s unclear whether he will follow through with that.

Between the lines: Former White House Counsel Don McGahn used to refer to Trump — not to his face of course — as "King Kong" when he blew up about the news or a meeting that didn't go his way.

  • One official told Axios that they expected "King Kong" was "swinging from the drapes" after that interview.
  • A DOJ spokesperson said Barr was at the White House for a previously scheduled meeting.

Worth noting: Bolton, who has become one of Trump's largest — and loudest — critics, is still battling with the Trump administration over a lawsuit alleging the former national security adviser published classified information in his recent memoir, violating nondisclosure agreements he signed with the White House.

Go deeper

Jan 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

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