Trump Torches Jeff Sessions: ‘I Don’t Have An Attorney General’
“It’s very sad,” Trump told Hill.TV in an interview published Wednesday. “I’m not happy at the border, I’m not happy with numerous things, not just this.”
Questioned by reporters later on Wednesday, Trump wouldn’t say if he was considering firing Sessions.
“We are looking at lots of different things,” he said.
The president has long criticized Sessions, an early political supporter who he blames for recusing himself from the FBI investigation into Russian election interference. Sessions stepped aside from the investigation after he failed to disclose during his confirmation hearing meetings he had with the Russian ambassador. The decision eventually led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller’s investigation has been a source of a pain for the president. Several former Trump aides, including his former campaign chair Paul Manafort, have been charged in connection with the probe. Manafort last week agreed to cooperate with Mueller in what’s seen as a major blow to Trump.
Trump first sparked speculation he might fire Sessions in a July 2017 interview with The New York Times.
“How do you take a job and then recuse yourself?,” he said at the time. “If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president.”
The president also has harshly criticized Sessions for not going after his political enemies, including Hillary Clinton. Recently, Trump suggested the Justice Department investigate a New York Times op-ed written by an anonymous administration official criticizing the president.
Sessions has nevertheless held onto his position and has used it to push through a slew of key Trump policies, including ramped up prosecutions of illegal border crossings and rollbacks of Obama-era police reforms.
The attorney general has seldom responded to Trump’s attacks, but fired back last month to Trump’s rebuke that he “never took control of the Justice Department.”
“While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations,” Sessions said in a statement.
This article has been updated to include Trump’s comment on Wednesday.