The relationship between Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions may be awkward for a while after the president aired his grievances for the world to hear.
“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump lamented in an interview with the New York Times – he is not at all pleased with his attorney general.
What is Trump livid about exactly?
The president feels Attorney General Jeff Sessions should have never recused himself from overseeing the Russia investigation. Sessions’ self-removal from the probe has led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel – expanding the investigation and further incensing Trump.
The rift could result in a huge blow to Sessions’ career. A former US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, the tea party conservative was the first senator to endorse Trump during the 2016 election- to the chagrin of many of his Republican colleagues. The two went on to have a great relationship on the campaign trail. After Trump’s election victory, a prestigious White House appointment for Sessions was expected.
That relationship soured after mounting allegations of Russia-Trump collusion.
Sessions had testified during his Senate confirmation hearing that he had no contact with Russian officials (as a representative of the Trump team) during the 2016 campaign. Not long after, several news outlets reported that Sessions, had in fact, met with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak and he failed to disclose this during his confirmation hearing. Despite the fact that Sessions had met with Kislyak as a member of the US Senate – not as a representative of the Trump campaign – liberal critics continued to cry foul. Sessions subsequently made the decision to remove himself from the investigation entirely.
What happens now?
It’s hard to imagine Sessions wanting to continue his work leading the Justice Department under such circumstances. Who wants to work for a boss that publicly announces regret in hiring you? The attorney general had already offered his resignation to Trump earlier this summer when he initially recused himself. Trump had declined his offer.
Sources close to Axios claim that Sessions does really love his job despite the drama. The nation’s top prosecutor is reportedly elated at going after sanctuary cities, locking up bad guys and supporting law enforcement. The two men are in lockstep as far as policy is concerned.
It’s hard to guess how things will turn out. Predictions on Sessions’ possible departure are mixed.
Should Sessions quit, the acting head of the Justice Department would become Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.