Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, D.C. Oct. 17, 2018.
"That'll be totally up to the new attorney general," the president told reporters during a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. "He's a tremendous man, a tremendous person who really respects this country and respects the Justice Department."
Trump's comments follow a CNN report Wednesday saying Barr could announce the end of Mueller's investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election as early as next week. The attorney general, nominated by Trump and sworn in last week, would then send a summary of the special counsel's confidential report to Congress, according to the report. NBC News previously reported that Mueller could submit a report as early as mid-February.
Americans across the country, as well as congressional Democrats, have awaited answers from the special counsel about whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin, or whether the president himself tried to derail the investigation. But it is unclear how much information will become public.
Justice Department regulations say the attorney general "may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest, to the extent that release would comply with applicable legal restrictions."
Barr took over jurisdiction of the special counsel's investigation, which Trump has repeatedly slammed as a politically charged "witch hunt." Some Trump allies believed the attorney general's confirmation gave the president more power over the probe than he had previously. Trump had raged against former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who by recusing himself from the Russia investigation, allowed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller.