‘I’m not happy’: Trump won’t commit to keeping Barr as attorney general if he's reelected

‘I’m not happy’: Trump won’t commit to keeping Barr as attorney general if he's reelected
Photo via the White House.

Attorney General William Barr has been so aggressive in his support of President Donald Trump that many pundits have described him as Trump's "fixer" — a word that was often used to describe Michael Cohen when he was still working for the Trump Organization and serving as Trump's personal attorney. But this week, Trump has expressed disappointment in Barr and refuses to say whether or not he will keep him as attorney general if he is reelected in November.

Trump was hoping that a U.S. Department of Justice probe of the origins of the Russia investigation would be released before Election Day and become an "October surprise" that would hurt former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been leading in countless polls. But because a report on that probe — which has been led by U.S. attorney John Durham — won't be ready before November 3, Trump is obviously feeling that Barr has let him down.

During an interview with Greg Kelly for the right-wing Newsmax TV, Trump was asked if he plans to keep Barr as his attorney general should he win a second term — and Trump responded, "I have no comment. Can't comment on that, it's too early. I'm not happy, with all of the evidence I had — I can tell you that. I am not happy."

When Trump appeared on Rush Limbaugh's radio show during a previous interview, Limbaugh noted Axios' October 9 report that Barr had told Republicans not to expect a report from Durham before Election Day — and Trump angrily responded, "If that's the case, I think it's terrible. It's very disappointing. And I'll tell him to his face…. I think it's a disgrace. It's an embarrassment…. If Bill Barr made that statement, I would be very disappointed in him."

Trump has been saying that Biden and former President Barack Obama should face criminal charges for "spying" on his 2016 presidential campaign. During an appearance on Fox Business last week, Trump said, "Unless Bill Barr indicts these people for crimes — the greatest political crimes in the history of our country — then we're going to get little satisfaction unless I win. But these people should be indicted. This was the greatest political crime in the history of our country. And that includes Obama, and it includes Biden."

The fact that Trump is now expressing disappointment with Barr is ironic in light of how vigorously the U.S. attorney general has defended him, from the Mueller Report to the Ukraine scandal to promoting Trump's baseless, thoroughly debunked claim that mail-in voting encourages voter fraud.

If Trump is reelected in November and decides against keeping Barr during his second term, it would not be the first time he fired an attorney general after an election. Trump, furious with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, fired Sessions after the 2018 midterms and still holds a grudge against Sessions two years later.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.