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Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
...big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Trump has repeatedly attacked Sessions over the past week, suggesting that he is a disappointing attorney general who fails to do his job. Sessions, who was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump’s candidacy, has led some of the most effective—if controversial—policy efforts of the Trump administration, including his crackdown on illegal immigration and other “law and order” policies.
The president’s criticisms of Sessions began in earnest with a New York Times interview during which he said he would not have nominated the former Alabama senator had he known he would recuse himself from the Department of Justice investigation into Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election:
“So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have—which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself. I then end up with a second man, who’s a deputy.”
Trump repeated the attack on Sessions during a White House press conference this week, saying that he is “very disappointed” in his attorney general.
Sessions recused himself in March after reports revealed that he misled senators about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador during the 2016 campaign.
Trump has also repeatedly attacked Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who began temporarily leading the organization after Trump abruptly fired former FBI Director James Comey in early May.
The president has since nominated Chris Wray, assistant attorney general for former President George W. Bush, as the next FBI director. The Senate has not yet approved his appointment.
Trump’s attacks against Sessions have reportedly created a rift between the two men, who, according to Politico, are no longer on speaking terms. However, the president’s public attempt to push Sessions to resign remains ineffective, and the attorney general has vowed to hold onto his post until Trump fires him.
White House aides are, according to CNN, urging Trump to stop bullying Sessions. Those efforts apparently have not yet been effective.
Andrew Couts is the former editor of Layer 8, a section dedicated to the intersection of the Internet and the state—and the gaps in between. Prior to the Daily Dot, Couts served as features editor and features writer for Digital Trends, associate editor of TheWeek.com, and associate editor at Maxim magazine. When he’s not working, Couts can be found hiking with his German shepherds or blasting around on motorcycles.