Despite acknowledging that “the president has a right to fire anybody in his cabinet,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) predicted, “If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay.”
Graham’s comments came Thursday after Trump expressed his frustration to The New York Times’ reporters and posted Twitter missives regarding his disappointment in the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from the Russian probe. Speaking to reporters outside a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Graham said that he thinks Trump “should show some respect for Jeff Sessions, as a person,” noting that Sessions has been the “most loyal supporter of Donald Trump” and a “rock solid conservative.”
Coming to Sessions’ defense after Trump basically called the man “weak,” Graham told Politico on Wednesday that he called Sessions and told him to “hang in there.”
“This effort to, basically, marginalize and humiliate the attorney general is not going over well in the Senate. I don’t think it’s going over well in the conservative world. If you believe Jeff Sessions should be fired, use the power you have and accept the consequences,” Graham said.
Graham also warned that going after Russian probe special counsel Robert Mueller would be a mistake for Trump. “Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency unless Mueller did something wrong,” Graham predicted. “There is no reason to believe Mueller is compromised.”
To that end, Graham said he will introduce legislation next week with bipartisan support that will mandate that “a special counsel cannot be fired when they were impaneled to investigate the president and his team unless you have judiciary review of the firing.”
Graham told a town hall audience in March that Sessions should recuse himself during the Russia investigation.
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