Trump says 'it was my decision' to continue 2020 election challenges

Former US president says he 'didn't respect' some of his lawyers

Former US president Donald Trump inside the Oval Office after speaking on the Ellipse on January 6, 2021. House Select Committee / AP
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Former US president Donald Trump said that he had ignored his lawyers' opinions and persisted in challenging his 2020 election defeat, continuing false claims that the election was “rigged” against him.

“It was my decision,” he said during an interview on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.

He also said he had dismissed his lawyers' views that he lost the election because he “didn't respect them”.

In particular, he pointed to former attorney general William Barr.

“I listened to some people,” Mr 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.”

Mr Barr has been one of Mr Trump's most vocal opponents since leaving the administration in 2020.

In a deposition before a US House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, Mr Barr said the former president would have to be “detached from reality” to believe in the conspiracy theories floated about the election.

He also dismissed suggestions from one of Mr Trump's lawyers that special counsel Jack Smith's January 6 case against the former president is an attack on free speech.

Speaking to CNN in August, Mr Barr said free speech does not protect people from engaging in fraudulent conspiracy.

Mr Trump faces three counts of conspiracy and one count of obstruction in his federal indictment related to January 6. He faces a separate case in Atlanta in his alleged efforts to overturn his electoral defeat there.

He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Updated: September 18, 2023, 2:42 PM