Trump continues criticizing Sessions; White House is reportedly told the AG won't resign
President Donald Trump/Shutterstock.com
President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued his criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in tweets, a news conference and a Wall Street Journal interview.
Trump would not say, however, whether he would fire Sessions. “We’ll see what happens,” Trump said at the news conference. “Time will tell.” The Washington Post and the New York Times covered Trump’s comments.
In the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) interview, Trump was asked how long he could continue to criticize Sessions without firing him. “I’m just looking at it,” Trump said. “I’ll just see. It’s a very important thing.”
Sessions’ chief of staff, Jody Hunt, has reportedly informed the White House that Sessions has no plans to resign, according to the Post and an ABC News report. The reports are based on anonymous sources.
Tuesday began with critical tweets. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” Trump wrote.
Then, in a news conference later in the day, Trump said he was “disappointed in the attorney general” because of his recusal in the probe of Russian attempts to interfere in the election. “If he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office, and I would have picked somebody else. It’s a bad thing not just for the president, but also for the presidency. I think it’s unfair to the presidency.” That assertion echoed previous comments Trump had made to the New York Times less than a week ago.
At the news conference, Trump said Sessions should “be much tougher on leaks in the intelligence agencies.” He told the Wall Street Journal that intelligence leaks about his associates’ contacts with Russian officials came from people who supported Hillary Clinton.
On Wednesday, Trump continued his attack tweets, questioning why Sessions had not fired acting FBI director Andrew McCabe because of political ties to Clinton by McCabe’s wife, the New York Times reports.
In the Wall Street Journal interview, Trump questioned the importance of Sessions being the first senator to endorse his candidacy. Sessions had endorsed Trump at an Alabama rally.
“When they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama,” Mr. Trump said. “I had 40,000 people. He was a senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, ‘What do I have to lose?’ And he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement.”
ABAJournal.com: “Trump is said to mull ouster of Sessions; can the AG be replaced through a recess appointment?”
ABAJournal.com: “Trump: I wouldn’t have appointed Sessions if I had known he would recuse in Russia probe”
Story updated at 11:05 a.m. to include Trump’s tweets on Wednesday.