Speed Reads


Barr is reportedly frustrated at Trump's public pleas for him to indict Biden, other political foes

"President Trump berated his own Cabinet officers on Thursday for not prosecuting or implicating his political enemies," seeking "to reassert himself on the public stage with a pair of telephone interviews with Fox News and Fox Business as well as a video and a series of Twitter messages," The New York Times reports. "Even for him, they were scattershot performances, ones that advisers said reflected increasing frustration over his political fortunes only 26 days before an election" he is losing by about 10 points to Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump's Fox Business interview "reeked of desperation," especially when he berated Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two of his closet allies, Aaron Blake writes at The Washington Post. Trump said he's "not happy" Pompeo hasn't released some sort of new information about Hillary Clinton's already released emails, and said Barr will go down in history "as a very sad, sad situation" unless he "indicts" a group of people "that includes Obama and it includes Biden" for committing "the greatest political crime in the history of our country."

Both comments amounted to "a fusillade of pleas for his allies to use their legal powers to further his political goals," Blake summarized. Barr noticed that, too, and he isn't happy about it, The Associated Press reports.

As Trump gets "increasingly critical about a lack of arrests" from the investigation into the origins of the Russia probe by U.S. Attorney John Durham, "Barr has privately expressed frustration over the president's public pronouncements on the Durham investigation," AP reports, citing people familiar with Barr's thinking. "Though Barr is broadly in agreement with Trump on the need to investigate the origins of the Russia probe, he's often bemoaned Trump's lack of understanding about the intricacies of the legal system and the steps that need to be taken to complete an investigation," not to mention the impropriety of interfering in specific investigations.

Meanwhile, 'White House aides privately expressed concern about whether the president's animated mood in recent days stemmed from the dexamethasone" steroid he told Fox News he's still taking, the Times reports. Plus, when a candidate is heading toward defeat, "the knives come out, the donors flee, and the candidate throws embarrassing Hail Marys," GOP strategist Alex Conant told the Times, and "people who want a future in politics start looking out for their own interests."