President Trump said on Thursday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will remain in his position until at least after the midterm elections, despite recent acrimony between the two.
“I just would love to have him do a great job,” Trump told Bloomberg News in the Oval Office. He declined to reveal his plans for Sessions, one of his earliest supporters on the campaign trail, beyond November.
The president’s comments came a week after he tore into Sessions to express his long-standing displeasure with the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from the DOJ’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Special Counsel Robert MuellerÆs probe of the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia passed its one-year mark in May.
Since Sessions’s recusal, the president has publicly fumed at him, saying he “would have picked someone else” and wished he had done so.
“Jeff Sessions never took control of the Justice Department, and it’s a sort of an incredible thing,” Trump remarked in a Fox News interview last Thursday. “Even my enemies say that ‘Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in.’ He took the job and then he said, ‘I’m going to recuse myself.’ I said, ‘What kind of a man is this?’”
The attorney general fired back in a rare public statement, saying he “took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in,” and pledging, “While I am attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) opined this week that the relationship between Trump and Sessions is “beyond repair.”
“He is not the only man in the country that can be attorney general. He is a fine man. I’m not asking for him to be fired. But the relationship is not working,” the South Carolina Republican said.