In February 2016, Jeff Sessions became the first sitting senator to endorse Donald Trump ahead of the first Super Tuesday of primary season. The controversial Alabama lawmaker went there when so many other Republicans still hoped that the real estate mogul didn’t have a shot, and Trump rewarded him handsomely by selecting Sessions to lead his national security campaign advisory team. When Trump won the election, he picked Sessions as his attorney general, but it appears that Trump’s no longer enamored with the fella, according to a New York Times report that says Trump’s privately blaming Sessions for all sorts of White House woes.
Of course, Trump has already been sending public signs ahead of this report. He lashed out on Monday morning at the “politically correct” Justice Department for a “watered down” version of his travel ban, which he doesn’t like as much as his first ban (although they’re both Muslim bans, and federal courts have agreed). The NY Times points to this example of Trump’s dissatisfaction and says that the situation is even more volatile behind closed doors because Trump apparently believes it’s Sessions’ fault that the DOJ appointed special counsel for the Russia probe:
[Trump] has intermittently fumed for months over Mr. Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election, according to people close to Mr. Trump who insisted on anonymity to describe internal conversations. In Mr. Trump’s view, they said, it was that recusal that eventually led to the appointment of a special counsel who took over the investigation.
Some folks think that Sessions might be on the way out, which would only create more of a mess with the multiple Russia probes, so Trump has probably been warned against canning the guy.
However, if this account of Trump’s Sessions-related disillusionment is true — it does match up against the rage-filled report about Trump going “ballistic” following Sessions’ recusal — then the distinction of what Trump is upset about is telling. That is to say, he’s more concerned about Sessions deciding to recuse himself (although he really had no other choice besides resignation) rather than being upset about the multiple sketchy meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak and — even more importantly — Sessions’ under-oath lies during his confirmation hearing. Priorities!
(Via New York Times)