Politics & Policy

Sessions Says Trump’s Anger over Russiagate Recusal Is ‘Not All Unjustified,’ But Stands By Decision

Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses a news conference in Washington, D.C., October 26, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Alabama Senate candidate Jeff Sessions said that President Trump “is not all unjustified” in his frustration over the former attorney general’s 2017 recusal from the Trump-Russia investigation, but insisted his “conscience is clear” with respect to the decision.

Sessions, the first high-profile Trump endorsee in 2016, recused himself from supervising the Trump-Russia investigation in March 2017, 21 days after taking over as attorney general. Now running to reclaim his former Senate seat, Sessions sparred with the president last week, after Trump tweeted that Alabama should “not trust” Sessions after he “let our country down.”

When Sessions attempted to defend himself, president then went further, saying that Sessions “blew” his chance after recusing himself and “had no courage.”

Sessions told the Washington Examiner on Monday that he is “surprised” how Trump holds him accountable for the investigation, but added that the “frustration is not all unjustified.”

“It’s becoming more and more clear that there were problems with this investigation. There may have been political bias,” Sessions said. “Barr is exactly right that we need to know whether commencing an investigation of a campaign had sufficient predicate.” Sessions went on to say he still believes he made the right decision to recuse himself.

“Doing the right thing is more important to me than even my own political career,” he argued.

He also implied that Trump’s “personal frustrations” were clouding his decision-making in the Alabama Senate race. Trump has endorsed former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville over Sessions.

“He’s asking the people of Alabama basically to effectuate his personal feelings about this issue,” Sessions sated. “I’m asking them to send a senator who can best advance Alabama values, Trump values, Sessions values, to make a decision based on what’s best for Alabama.”

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