The relationship between President Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has deteriorated to the point that Sessions recently offered to resign from his position.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Trump refused Sessions’ offer, and that it was not a formal resignation.
Although Sessions was one of Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters, Trump has been frustrated with the attorney general ever since Sessions recused himself in March from the investigation into alleged Russian interference the 2016 presidential election and possible ties between Russia and Trump campaign associates.
When asked Tuesday if Trump has confidence in Sessions, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a briefing, “I have not had that discussion with him. If I haven’t had a discussion with him about a subject, I tend not to speak about it.”
Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer told “Special Report” that the last time Spicer said that he had not spoken with the president about a member of his administration, then-FBI Director James Comey was dismissed days later.
“This is really bad,” Krauthammer said. “If you can’t absorb this one issue on which he disagrees and you have to get rid of him, no one is safe (in the White House).”
According to ABC News, the disgruntlement between Trump and Sessions is mutual.
Citing unnamed sources, The New York Times reported that Sessions insisted to Trump that he needed more freedom to successfully perform his job, and offered to resign if the president wanted him to do so. The conversation reportedly occurred just prior to Trump’s recent overseas trip.
Trump posted a tweet Monday that was critical of the Justice Department’s legal strategy in defending his proposed travel suspension that would temporarily ban people from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
“The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.,” Trump tweeted, even though he oversees the DOJ and signed the second version of the ban himself.
“The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court – & seek much tougher version!” said an additional Trump tweet.
Trump has denied any collusion with Russia and his campaign, calling the story a “witch hunt” and “fake news” invented to justify the Democrats’ loss in the 2016 election.
On Monday, The New York Times reported that the president partially blames Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation for the eventual appointment of a special counsel.
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