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Bill Barr says Trump will 'burn the whole house down' and destroy the GOP if he doesn't win the 2024 nomination

Business Insider logo Business Insider 4 days ago tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)
Former Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald Trump Drew Angerer/Getty Images © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Former Attorney General Bill Barr and former President Donald Trump Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Former Attorney General Bill Barr discussed Donald Trump's 2024 campaign in an op-ed.
  • He said Trump's "narcissism" means he would be unable to accept losing the GOP nomination race. 
  • Barr is a former Trump loyalist, who has recently turned against his ex-boss. 

Former Attorney Bill Barr said that Donald Trump would seek to destroy the Republican Party if defeated in his bid to become its 2024 presidential nominee. 

In an op-ed in The New York Post published on Tuesday, Barr addressed Trump's announcement last week that he was seeking the Republican Party candidacy for the White House in 2024. 

He said that if Trump loses the nomination, it could tear the GOP apart.

"Unless the rest of the party goes along with him, he will burn the whole house down by leading 'his people' out of the GOP," Barr said, referring to the former president's hardline supporters in the party. 

"Trump's willingness to destroy the party if he does not get his way is not based on principle, but on his own supreme narcissism," Barr wrote.

"His egoism makes him unable to think of a political party as anything but an extension of himself — a cult of personality."

Trump's status as the GOP's most powerful figure has taken a hit in the wake of the midterm elections, when several of the high profile candidates he'd endorsed in key races were defeated. 

Barr is among Republicans claiming the the divisive and flawed candidates Trump endorsed are the reason for the party's failure to win control of the Senate, and to only secure a small House majority.

"The GOP's poor performance in the recent midterms was due largely to Trump's mischief," said Barr, citing his candidate choice, failure to provide proper funding, and stoking of internal GOP divisions. 

His criticisms is strikingly similar to that of Trump's niece, Mary Trump, who also believes that the former president would seek to "burn everything down" if Republicans blame their midterms defeat on him.

Trump announced his candidacy at a relatively muted event at Mar-a-Lago last week amid mounting criticism of his midterm strategy. Meanwhile, momentum is building behind his rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Barr was seen as among the most loyal members of Trump's cabinet. But more recently has been highly critical of Trump over his refusal to concede defeat after the 2020 election, and his retention of stashes of classified information after leaving office. 

Barr in the op-ed said it was time for new leadership in the Republican Party.

"It is painfully clear from his track record in both the 2020 election and the 2022 midterms that Donald Trump is neither capable of forging this winning coalition nor delivering the decisive and durable victory required," Barr said. 

"Indeed, among the current crop of potential nominees, Trump is the person least able to unite the party and the one most likely to lose the general election," he added.

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