“Unless Bill Barr indicts these people for crimes, the greatest political crime in the history of our country, then we’re going to get little satisfaction unless I win and we’ll just have to go, because I won’t forget it,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the investigation into his 2016 campaign ties with Russia. “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.”
Mr. Trump has often argued that his political antagonists should be prosecuted, but in this case, he went further by indicating that he had directly pressured Mr. Barr to indict without waiting for more evidence. “He’s got all the information he needs,” the president said. “They want to get more, more, more, they keep getting more. I said, ‘You don’t need any more.’”
Even as he sought to reassert himself on the public stage after a week in the hospital and the White House infected with the coronavirus, Mr. Trump seemed to suggest he may have been infected by the Gold Star parents of soldiers killed in battle at an event honoring them last month at the White House, although a spokesman later denied he meant that.
Fellow Republicans exhibited increasing frustration with the president’s casual approach to the virus that has now infected not just himself and the first lady but two dozen other high-ranking officials, campaign aides, advisers and Republican senators who attended White House events. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, even indicated that he was boycotting the White House because of its lax handling of the virus.
“I haven’t actually been to the White House since August the 6th because my impression was that their approach to how to handle this is different from mine and what I suggested that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” Mr. McConnell told reporters.
After being rebuffed by the White House, the Washington city government’s health department released an open letter to the staff members and guests who attended a Sept. 26 ceremony there, which has been blamed for the outbreak, imploring them to get tested for the virus. Crede Bailey, the head of the White House security office, has been hospitalized and a fourth White House journalist tested positive on Thursday.