Amid reports Attorney General William Barr does not expect John Durham's investigation results before the election, President Donald Trump expressed his disappointment.
"If Bill Barr actually made that statement, I would be very disappointed in him," Trump told Rush Limbaugh's show Friday during a "radio rally," according to multiple reports. "I don't know that he made that statement."
Barr has communicated recently to Republican lawmakers it is highly unlikely the report will be completed by Election Day, according to people familiar with the matter. Limbaugh read Trump an Axios story on the topic.
"I will be very disappointed if that Axios piece that you read to me is true," Trump added. "Because they've had plenty of time to get this done. They've been looking at it for two years. The facts are on the table."
Trump has already tweeted this week he is declassifying and removing redactions on all Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton email investigation documents in the Justice Department. That move was believed to expedite the public dissemination of information before the election.
Trump and his allies had high hopes for the investigation led by Connecticut U.S. Attorney Durham, betting it would expose what they see as wrongdoing when the FBI opened a case into whether the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to sway the 2016 election. Trump has also pushed to tie prominent Obama administration officials to that effort as part of his campaign against Joe Biden, who was serving as vice president at the time.
"If we don't win, that whole thing is going to be dismissed," Trump told Limbaugh.
Trump is also said to blame Barr for comments from FBI Director Chris Wray on election fraud and mail-in voting, sources told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Wray has said there has not historically been any kind of mass voter fraud, whether through the mail or otherwise, a message at odds with Trump and Barr's repeated efforts to sound the alarms about a process they claim is especially vulnerable to abuse.
Still, much of the uptick in tensions between Trump and Barr centers on the Justice Department's handling of the Durham probe. A senior administration official said Trump feels like he's given Barr wide latitude to advance the investigation, including declassifying documents related to Russia. In the absence of blockbuster findings, Trump is now moving to make documents public himself with his new acting head of intelligence.
On Thursday morning, Trump did not hide his displeasure in an interview on Fox News Business.
"Unless Bill Barr indicts these people for crimes — the greatest political crime in the history of our country — then we'll get little satisfaction, unless I win," he said.
The comment followed an earlier barrage of presidential social media posts, including one in which Trump retweeted a doctored image of Barr superimposed with the late "Saturday Night Live" actor Chris Farley in character as a motivational speaker yelling at him. The caption: "for the love of God ARREST SOMEBODY."
The Justice Department declined to comment on the matter. The White House did not immediately comment.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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