White House

Trump Attacks Sessions: ‘I Don’t Have an Attorney General’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions listens as President Donald Trump addresses members of his cabinet during a meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C., August 16, 2018. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Trump on Wednesday once again attacked the performance of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“I don’t have an Attorney General. It’s very sad,” the president told The Hill.

Trump has periodically excoriated Sessions since the attorney general recused himself under pressure in March of last year from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, citing his involvement in the Trump campaign as a conflict of interest.

On Wednesday, however, the president made clear that his displeasure with Sessions went beyond the attorney general’s handling of the Russia investigation.

“I’m not happy at the border, I’m not happy with numerous things, not just this,” Trump said.

Despite the president’s criticisms, the former Alabama senator, one of the earliest supporters of the Trump campaign, has so far avoided being fired, unlike many other officials in an administration with a high turnover rate.

“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,” Trump 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.”

“And now it turned out he didn’t have to recuse himself,” Trump said. “Actually, the FBI reported shortly thereafter [sic] any reason for him to recuse himself. And it’s very sad what happened.”

In his confirmation hearings, Sessions failed to disclose to Congress two contacts he had as a senator with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The FBI later said lawmakers’ contacts with foreign agents as part of their congressional work do not need to be revealed.

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said of whether he will fire Sessions. “It was very unfair what he did. . . . I’m very disappointed in Jeff. Very disappointed.”

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