A White House official dismissed President Trump’s critical comments about U.S. Attorney General William Barr, saying that Bar’s days in the administration could be counted if he won a second term.
“The big irony in the president’s remarks is that he can only complain because Bill Bar saved his presidency and everyone knows it,” a senior administration official told Fox News on Wednesday.
Asked during a Newsmax interview scheduled for Wednesday night if he planned to keep Barr if he won the November election, Trump said he had no “comment” and was “too early” to say.
“I’m not happy with all the evidence I have, I can tell you. I̵
Trump also called the end of an investigation to unmask the Obama administration’s demands for certain names in classified documents a “disgrace” after a veteran federal prosecutor eavesdropped on by Bar – US Attorney John Durham – refused to press charges.
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In an interview with Maria Bartiromo of FOX Business last week, Trump said Bar would be either “the greatest attorney general in our country’s history” or “the average person,” depending on how investigations into Russia’s origins probe.
“Unless Bill Bar charges these people with crimes – the biggest political crime in our country’s history – then we will not get enough satisfaction unless I win,” he said. “Because I won’t forget it.” But these people must be blamed. These are the people who spied on my campaign. And we have everything. And I say, Bill, we have a lot, you don’t need more. We have so much. “
The investigation into allegations of a secret agreement between Russia and Trump’s campaign has been going on for more than a year, and the president has publicly commented on Bar’s performance at the Justice Department.
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Trump aides had pledged to complete the Durham investigation ahead of the 2020 election to give credence to Trump’s claims that his own investigative agencies were working against him. A report by the inspector general of the Ministry of Justice in December broke many lines of attack on the Russian investigation, finding that it was properly detected and that law enforcement leaders were not motivated by political bias.
But Barr and Durham said they disagreed with the inspector general on whether the FBI had enough information to open a full investigation, and in particular to use surveillance of a former Trump aide.
Although they are close allies on a number of issues, tensions have erupted between Trump and Barr at other times, including earlier this year when Trump wrote about the Roger Stone case. Barr later reversed a recommendation from prosecutors to sentence Stone to seven to nine years in prison, with critics claiming he was following Trump’s orders.
In February, Bar said the president’s comments on Twitter made it “impossible” to do his job.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.