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President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday joked that Attorney General Bill Barr had called him, “asking if I can get him in the witness protection program for endorsing me,” after Barr finally acknowledged earlier in the day that the Justice Department had seen no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential election.

Biden’s comments were made during an interview with The New York Times’ Thomas Friedmann and published Wednesday after Barr — one of President Donald Trump’s most dedicated loyalists — admitted that the DOJ had not found evidence of widespread voter fraud in spite of Trump’s claims of the opposite.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday.

Barr’s remarks on the Justice Department’s findings clash with President Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen, amid Trump’s ongoing effort to sow doubt about the integrity of the vote in a number of battleground states that he lost to his Democratic opponent.

The comments from Barr diverge from the attorney general’s habit of rushing to Trump’s side and parroting unsubstantiated claims about election security. Before the election, Barr had propped up the President’s unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voter fraud was a grave concern even amid its long history as a safe and secure voting method.

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Last month, without evidence, Barr also fueled Trump’s crusade on the integrity of the election by issuing a directive to U.S. attorneys to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities, if they existed, before the 2020 presidential election was certified.

Barr’s refusal on Tuesday to advance Trump’s election falsehoods adds him to the ranks of a handful of Republicans who have shattered the veneer on Trump’s false claims about the election that have apparently fueled a surge in campaign donations that will likely line the pockets of Trump’s personal post-election activities.

When asked on Tuesday what it’s been like to win the presidency amid a deadly pandemic and Trump’s election fraud campaign, Biden told the Times he has felt “no elation” knowing there is lots of work ahead of him.

“I feel like I’ve done something good for the country by making sure that Donald Trump is not going to be president for four more years,” Biden said.

“There’s a lot of work to do. I’m just focused on getting some things done as quickly as I can,” he added.

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Biden administration

VIDEO: Biden administration faces lawsuit from Texas, Missouri

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Texas AG Ken Paxton tells newsmen that he believes the states will win in court and discusses the debate over reforming the Supreme Court.

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Border Crisis

Sen. Blackburn asks Biden admin why U.S. spending $284K per migrant family to keep them in hotels

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“The cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” the Tennessee senator says.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn has done the math.

The Tennessee Republican’s interest was piqued after the Biden administration announced its intention to spend nearly $87 million to house 1,200 foreigners who illegally cross the border in hotel rooms in the U.S.

“As the current contract stands, the cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” Blackburn wrote in a letter Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Tae Johnson. “For a family of four, that amounts to a shocking $284,000 – enough to buy a small house.”

Earlier this month, the administration awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors, which will provide hotel rooms near the border for temporary shelter. But Blackburn also questions how the group spends its money.

She said Endeavors in 2018 collected more than $38 million in contributions and grants but noted that “IRS filings show that nearly $22 million or almost half of those contributions went to salaries.”

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“This raises questions if half of the $86.9 million in ICE contract proceeds will likewise be allocated toward employee and executive compensation instead of migrant services or housing,” Blackburn wrote in her letter.

She also expressed concerns that Endeavors’ CEO Jon Allman has not provided “specific details about the contract.”

“It is unclear whether this nonprofit has ever previously managed a contract of this magnitude, housed a migrant population of this size or served vulnerable children without putting them at further risk,” Blackburn wrote. “DHS and ICE must provide commitments to assure Congress and the American public that Endeavors is up for the task of securely and efficiently housing illegal immigrants without resulting in waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars, or worse, harming vulnerable migrant children.”

Blackburn asked for answers by April 15.

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Border Crisis

Joe Biden: ‘I Don’t Care’ if Donald Trump Visits the Border

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President Joe Biden dismissed the news that former President Donald Trump is considering a visit to the southern border.

A reporter questioned Biden about the border crisis, and reports about Trump’s possible visit, as he returned to Washington from a weekend at his home in Delaware.

“We are putting in place a plan that I feel very confident about,” Biden replied. “And I don’t care what the other guy does.”

Biden did not answer a question about when he would make his own trip to visit the border.

Former President Trump confirmed he is interested in visiting the border to highlight Biden’s border crisis in the “next couple of weeks,” during an interview Saturday on Fox News.

“Thousands and thousands of people are coming up right now as we speak,” Trump said. “And you’re going to have millions of people pouring into our country. And it’s going to destroy our country.”

Biden continues struggling to manage the border crisis, despite publicly delegating Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday to lead the administration’s efforts to secure the border.

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But on Friday, Harris’s team clarified that the vice president “was not doing the border” but only leading the “diplomatic efforts” with Latin American countries to address the root causes of migration.

Both Biden and Harris refuse to commit to visiting the border, despite record numbers of unattended child migrants crossing into the U.S. and overwhelming Border Patrol detention facilities.

Despite the Biden administration repeatedly telling migrants the border is closed, the president makes it clear that unattended migrant children are not getting sent back.

“The only people we’re not going to let sitting there on the other side of the Rio Grande by themselves with no help are children,” Biden said during his press conference on Sunday.

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