US President Donald Trump speaks next to US Attorney General Bill Barr during a discussion with attorneys general about social media abuse in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, USA, on September 23, 2020.
Tom Brenner | Reuters
President Donald Trump refused to say when asked Wednesday whether he would keep William Barr for a possible second term as his attorney general.
But the president added, "I'm not happy."
Trump's cool remarks to Barr, the Justice Department chief, came in a phone interview with Newsmax that was scheduled to air later Wednesday night and shortly after news that an inquiry by the DOJ into the origins of the Russia investigation would not be released prior to the Election day.
"I have no comment," Trump replied when asked if Barr would keep his job if the president wins re-election over Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
"I can't comment on that, it's too early. I'm not happy, with all the evidence I had, I can tell you. I'm not happy," said Trump.
Trump had expressed impatience with his attorney general a few days earlier during a live radio interview with Rush Limbaugh on Friday. When Trump learned that Barr reportedly warned Republicans that the DOJ's investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation would be released before election day, the president replied, "If that's the case, I think it's awful. It is very disappointing. And I'll tell him to the face. "
This investigation, overseen by U.S. attorney John Durham, examines the DOJ's decision under the Obama administration to open an investigation into Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and contacts with Russia.
The results of Durham's investigation have been eagerly awaited by the president and his supporters, while Democrats have accused Barr of continuing the investigation on political grounds.
Excerpts from Trump's recent interview with Newsmax came the day after the Washington Post reported that another Justice Department investigation into the "exposure" of Trump campaign officials during the Obama administration had been concluded without finding any wrongdoing .
"Personally, I think it's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. It's a shame," Trump said of this result, Newsmax reported. "I think it's really a horrible thing that they are allowed to escape – if they don't say charges, they actually don't say charges before the election."
"I had to go through elections with all these clouds over my head. But they don't do it because the Republicans are so nice," Trump said. "Personally, I think it's a shame. I think it's a shame, you're damn guilty."
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The White House did not immediately comment.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that Biden, former President Barack Obama and others should be charged with "spying" his 2016 presidential campaign.
"Unless Bill Barr charges these people with crimes – the greatest political crimes in our country's history – we will be little satisfied if I win," Trump told Fox Business last week. "But these people should be charged, this was the greatest political crime in our country's history. And that includes Obama and Biden."
Barr is Trump's second attorney general after Jeff Sessions, who was widely criticized by the president after he decided to withdraw from former special adviser Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.