Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told Newsmax in an interview Wednesday that "it's too early" to say whether he will ask Attorney General Bill Barr to return should he win a second term.

Why it matters: Barr quashed Trump allies' hopes that a sweeping review of the origins of the Russia investigation, led by U.S. Attorney John Durham, would be a pre-election bombshell containing revelations about what they allege were serious abuses by the Obama administration and intelligence officials.

  • Durham's investigation so far has netted one criminal charge — an FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to altering an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
  • Barr has made clear to top Republicans that they should not expect any further indictments or a comprehensive report before Nov. 3, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

What they're saying: "I have no comment. Can't comment on that. It's too early," Trump said about whether he would bring Barr back.

  • "I'm not happy with all of the evidence I have, I can tell you that. I'm not happy."

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that a related probe commissioned by Barr, which reviewed whether Obama administration officials improperly requested the identities of Trump officials redacted in intelligence reports, has ended without finding substantive wrongdoing.

  • "Personally, I think it's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. It's a disgrace," Trump told Newsmax in an interview airing Wednesday night. "I think it's really a horrible thing that they're allowed to get away — when they say no indictments, they actually said no indictments before the election."
  • "I had to go through elections with all those clouds over my head. But they don't because the Republicans are so nice. Personally, I think it's too bad. I think it's too bad, they're guilty as hell."

Go deeper

Oct 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Obama: If Biden's elected, "he's gonna have to rebuild" the State Dept

Former President Obama addresses the virtual Democratic National Convention on Aug. 19. Photo: DNCC via Getty Images

Former President Obama said Joe Biden would "have to rebuild" the State Department if he were elected next month, as he lambasted his successor and the Trump administration on the "Pod Save America" podcast Wednesday.

Details: Obama praised Biden for his "restraint and humility" and confidence in diplomacy. "[T]hat instinct that I think is going to trickle out, partly because he's gonna have to rebuild a State Department where some of the best people have been driven out systematically because they weren't willing to tow Trump's ideological agenda," he said.

Dave Lawler, author of World
17 mins ago - World

Special report: Trump's hopes of nuclear deal with Putin come down to the wire

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal.

The big picture: The last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russia, New START, is due to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, two weeks after the next U.S. presidential inauguration. For the first time since the height of the Cold War, the nuclear guardrails could come off.

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.