John Kelly Assures Jeff Sessions He Can Stay as Attorney General
White House Chief of Staff said Trump doesn’t intend to fire him and his position is safe
Washington: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is keeping his job, at least for now. New White House chief of staff John Kelly told Sessions inaphonecallovertheweekendthat President Donald Trump doesn’t intend to fire him and that his position is safe, according to a person familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified discussing a private exchange.
Job security for Sessions became an embarrassingly open question — “it’s kind of hurtful,” the attorney general said at one point — after Trump attacked him in tweets. Trump called Sessions “weak” for recusing himself from the federal criminal investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and whether the president or any of his associates colluded with Moscow.
The phone call to Sessions, first reported on Wednesday by the Associated Press, was the latest indication that Kelly, who had been secretary of Homeland Security, is moving to bring order to the turmoil that has roiled the administration. On the retired general’s first day as chief of staff last week, Anthony Scaramucci was removed from his job as White House communications director only 10 days after the financier joined Trump’s staff.
Scaramucci had criticised Reince Priebus, Kelly’s predecessor as chief of staff, and White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon in a vulgarity-laced interview published by the New Yorker. On Wednesday, the White House said that Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a National Security Council staff member caught up in a controversy over the release of intelligence material to a member of Congress is also leaving his job. It was a sign that National Security Adviser HR McMaster is gaining more authority over his operation now that Kelly has arrived.