Today the White House touted the accomplishments of the administration in the first six months, and the list included: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented new charging guidelines to end catch-and-release policies.”
Of course, the president’s not so focused on that part of Sessions’ record lately. As noted in the Jolt, Trump declared in an interview with the New York Times, “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.”
Tensions between a president and attorney general aren’t new to Washington, but it’s hard to see what this sort of on-the-record fuming gets the president. Sessions reportedly already offered the president his resignation during an earlier tense exchange, and the president rejected it.
It goes without saying that not a single adviser to President Trump would urge him to publicly criticize his own attorney general like this, and they would probably tell him that there’s no benefit to expressing this kind of frustration publicly. Sessions can’t undo the recusal decision, there’s no indication that Sessions thinks he made a mistake in that decision, and this can only lead to two things: more whispers that Sessions’ days are numbered as attorney general because the president doesn’t have faith in his judgment — as longtime Trump associate Roger Stone is telling reporters now — or Sessions deciding he’s had enough of it and resigning.
Sessions’ departure would set up another headache for an administration that’s already full of them, and just add to the narrative that the Trump White House simply cannot govern. It’s worth thinking back to all of the political capital expended to get Sessions confirmed back in February. Replacing Sessions could prove more difficult than the White House expects; if Trump is going to publicly rip his attorney general over every decision he doesn’t like, who in their right mind would want the job?
Oh, and if the “failing” New York Times is always full of “fake news,” why is President Trump giving them an exclusive interview that lasts 50 minutes?