U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr is in hot water with President Donald J. Trump after news broke Friday that the Russia probe would not be in before the Nov. 3 presidential election as previously touted.
“This is the nightmare scenario. Essentially, the year and a half of arguably the number one issue for the Republican base is virtually meaningless if this doesn't happen before the election," a GOP congressional aide told Axios.
The investigation is being led by U.S. Attorney John Durham. Republicans held hope that findings would influence the 2020 election in Trump's favor by proving that former president Barack Obama's administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made up the Russia probe to undermine validity of the Trump presidency.
“[Durham] has a reputation for being thorough, but also somewhat slow, in part because of the big tasks he’s undertaken,” said a former Justice Department official. “It comes with the territory of a sprawling investigation that every stone you turn over needs to be fully scrutinized.”
With a downturn expected in GOP voter turnout this election year and only 25 days until Election Day, this new development has the potential to put the Republican party into a tailspin.
During a radio interview with Rush Limbaugh on WFLA-AM Friday, Trump didn't hold back his disappointment in his Justice Department.
"I think it's terrible. I think it's terrible. If that's the case, I'm very disappointed," Trump said. "I think it's a terrible thing and I'll say it to his face. That's a disgrace. I think it's a disgrace, it's an embarrassment."
Trump added, "I've had to go through it twice now with elections and yet they have - see, this is what I mean with the Republicans, they don't play the tough game. They don't play the tough game. If this were the other side, you would have had 25 people in jail for the rest of their lives with what we found... Look at me. I had to beat off - I had to beat off the phony [Robert] Mueller report. I had beat off all the stuff. I had to beat off impeachment. I had to beat off Congress - everything else. Then they send it to New York, which is all political. They sent it into the same stuff into New York - I had to beat that off."
The radio interview is below.