Trump ‘frustrated and disappointed’
President asks about firing Sessions, calls his position ‘weak’
President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, officials say, and launched a fresh Twitter tirade Tuesday against the man who was the first U.S. senator to endorse his candidacy.
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are Emails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” Trump tweeted.
The president’s anger over Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the government’s investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S. election had burst into public view Monday when he referred to Sessions in a tweet as “beleaguered.” Privately, Trump has speculated aloud to allies in recent days about the potential consequences of firing Sessions, according to three people who have recently spoken to the president. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that the president is “frustrated and disappointed” with Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe.
“That frustration certainly hasn’t gone away. And I don’t think it will,” she said.
Trump often talks about making staff changes without following through, so those who have spoken with the president cautioned that a change may not be imminent or happen at all.
“So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?” the president tweeted Monday. His tweet came just hours before his son-in-law, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, travelled to Capitol Hill to be interviewed about his meetings with Russians.
Trump’s rapid-fire tweeting resumed at daybreak Tuesday, with the president wondering aloud about Sessions’ “VERY weak” position on “Hillary Clinton crimes.”
In another post to his Twitter account, Trump said: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign — quietly working to boost Clinton. So where is the investigation A.G.”
He also mocked the Russia investigation in congress, suggesting that Congress might want to talk to his 11-year-old son after it finished with Kushner.
“Jared Kushner did very well yesterday in proving he did not collude with the Russians. Witch Hunt. Next up, 11 year old Barron Trump!” he tweeted.
Trump’s intensifying criticism of Sessions has fueled speculation that Sessions may resign even if Trump opts not to fire him. During an event at the White House, Trump ignored a shouted question about whether Sessions should step down. The attorney general said last week he intended to stay in his post.
If Trump were to fire Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would be elevated to the top post on an acting basis. That would leave the president with another attorney general of whom he has been sharply critical in both public and private for his handling of the Russia probe, according to four White House and outside advisers who, like others interviewed, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
It could also raise the spectre of Trump asking Rosenstein - or whomever he appoints to fill the position - to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with Trump’s campaign.
In this July 21 photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks in Philadelphia.