“We’ll see how it goes with Jeff. I’m very disappointed in Jeff. Very disappointed.”
President Donald Trump spoke to The Hill today and once against attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions. From The Hill:
“I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad,” Trump told Hill.TV in an extensive and freewheeling interview Tuesday from the Oval Office.
The president has long excoriated Sessions for his March 2017 decision to recuse himself from the Russia collusion investigation. But on Tuesday he suggested he is frustrated by Sessions’s performance on far more than that.
“I’m not happy at the border, I’m not happy with numerous things, not just this,” he said.
Sessions recused himself from the Trump-Russia probe. He and Trump had a close relationship on the campaign trail and he did not tell the Senate about his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak:
The FBI in an early 2017 email to a Sessions aide, made public last December, concluded that Sessions did not need to reveal contacts with foreign government officials that were made in the course of his work as a senator.
“I recused myself not because of any asserted wrongdoing on my part during the campaign,” Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee last April. “But because a Department of Justice regulation, 28 CFR 45.2, required it.”
That close relationship may have led to a blind spot with Trump:
Trump suggested he had a personal blind spot when it came to nominating Sessions as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.
“I’m so sad over Jeff Sessions because he came to me. He was the first senator that endorsed me. And he wanted to be attorney general, and I didn’t see it,” he said.
“And then he went through the nominating process and he did very poorly. I mean, he was mixed up and confused, and people that worked with him for, you know, a long time in the Senate were not nice to him, but he was giving very confusing answers. Answers that should have been easily answered. And that was a rough time for him.”
Trump believes the nomination process “may have impacted his performance as attorney general.” Trump continued:
“He gets in and probably because of the experience that he had going through the nominating when somebody asked him the first question about Hillary Clinton or something he said ‘I recuse myself, I recuse myself,’” Trump said.
“And now it turned out he didn’t have to recuse himself. Actually, the FBI reported shortly thereafter any reason for him to recuse himself. And it’s very sad what happened.”
However, Trump didn’t commit to the notion of firing Sessions:
“We’ll see what happens. A lot of people have asked me to do that. And I guess I study history, and I say I just want to leave things alone, but it was very unfair what he did,” he said, referring to the recusal decision.
“And my worst enemies, I mean, people that, you know, are on the other side of me in a lot of ways, including politically, have said that was a very unfair thing he did.”
He concluded: “We’ll see how it goes with Jeff. I’m very disappointed in Jeff. Very disappointed.”
You all know I cannot stand Sessions, but now I’m mad at Trump because he’s going to make me defend Sessions. There are rules and processes. Sessions cannot just snap his fingers and make something happen. Also, as Sessions pointed out, there is a rule that he had to follow when it came to recusing himself from the investigation.
After Trump attacked Sessions in August, the attorney general responded:
“I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President’s agenda—one that protects the safety and security rights of the American people, reduces violent crime, enforces our immigration laws, promotes economic growth, and advances religious liberty.”
He went on to say, “While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.
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