Before former Attorney General Jeff Sessions jumped into the Alabama Senate race this week, President Trump sent word to him “through allies that he would publicly attack him if he ran,” the New York Times reports.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) is expected to announce plans to run for his former Senate seat before Friday, two sources told The Hill.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was fired by President Trump, praised the president for “relentlessly and actually honoring the promises he made to the American people,” the Birmingham News reports.
Said Sessions: “That’s why I still do support him.”
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) told The Hill that President Trump is not on board with a potential Senate bid by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Said Shelby: “I talked to the president about it too… about if Sessions ran, he was not encouraging. How do I say it? He was not on board, OK?”
The Mueller report notes that Attorney General Jeff Sessions “offered his resignation letter after Mr. Trump lashed out at him following Mr. Mueller’s appointment, and the president ultimately rejected it. But the public attacks on Mr. Sessions did not stop,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The report says the they apparently became so taxing on the attorney general that he prepared another resignation letter and for the rest of the year carried it with him in his pocket every time he went to the White House.”
Washington Post: “He didn’t read intelligence reports and mixed up classified material with what he had seen in newspaper clips. He seemed confused about the structure and purpose of organizations and became overwhelmed when meetings covered multiple subjects. He blamed immigrants for nearly every societal problem and uttered racist sentiments with shocking callousness. This isn’t how President Trump is depicted in a new book by former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.”
“Instead, it’s McCabe’s account of what it was like to work for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The FBI was better off when ‘you all only hired Irishmen,’ Sessions said in one diatribe about the bureau’s workforce. ‘They were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos — who knows what they’re doing?’”
President Trump “may have a pick he plans to nominate to be attorney general, but his Justice Department has yet to file the required paperwork that Jeff Sessions has left the office,” BuzzFeed News reports.
“Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, the head of the Justice Department was to report the vacancy in the office of attorney general… ‘immediately.’ It’s been a month since Trump forced then-Attorney General Sessions to resign and then tweeted that Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, would be the acting attorney general.”
“Jeff Sessions doesn’t sound eager to run for his old Senate seat in 2020,” Politico reports.
“The former attorney general and Alabama senator said in an interview on Wednesday that he doesn’t miss being a senator and won’t be deciding anytime soon about running. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) is seen as the most vulnerable incumbent on the ballot in two years — and Sessions as a prime candidate to beat him.”
CNN: “When things were particularly bad between President Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, the attorney general’s chief of staff, Matt Whitaker, would attend White House meetings in his place.”
“But Sessions did not know that Whitaker at the same time was angling for a promotion. Whitaker, who was installed at the Justice Department by powerful White House allies, ‘spoke and behaved like he was attorney general.’”
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions “is considering running for his old Alabama Senate seat in 2020,” Politico reports.
“After Sessions left the Senate in 2017, his vacated seat was won by Democrat Doug Jones in a special election upset. Jones is up for a full term in 2020, and he is widely viewed as the most vulnerable incumbent senator facing reelection given Alabama’s conservative tilt. Republicans are certain to contest the seat aggressively as they look to protect their majority.”
President Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, effectively firing him, CNN reports.
Sessions’ resignation letter has been delivered to White House chief of staff John Kelly.
Reuters: “Never in modern history has a president attacked a Cabinet member as frequently and harshly in public as Trump did Sessions, 71, who had been one of the first members of Congress to back his presidential campaign in 2015.”
Associated Press: “Sensing that Jeff Sessions’ days at the Justice Department may be numbered, some of his supporters want the White House to allow for a graceful exit for an attorney general they believe has dutifully carried out the administration’s agenda even while enduring the president’s fury.”
“A scenario advocated by at least one Sessions ally, former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, would allow him to remain on the job until January and be permitted to resign on his own then rather than be fired immediately after the midterms.”
“President Trump is considering as many as five candidates as his new attorney general on the assumption that Jeff Sessions will leave his post later this year,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
They are: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Transportation Department general counsel Steven Bradbury, former Attorney General Bill Barr, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Janice Rogers Brown, a retired appeals court judge from the District of Columbia Circuit.
“Mr. Sessions isn’t currently planning to leave, but privately has said that he anticipates he may be asked to resign… The attorney general has told people the request may come on the president’s Twitter feed.”
“President Trump talked recently with Jeff Sessions’s own chief of staff about replacing Sessions as attorney general, signaling that the president remains keenly interested in ousting his top law enforcement official,” the Washington Post reports.
“The conversation between Trump and Matthew G. Whitaker was somewhat nebulous, the people said. It was not clear, for example, whether Whitaker would take over on an interim basis or be nominated in a more permanent capacity, or how definitive the president’s intentions were.”
President Trump modified his earlier comments on Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying, “We have an attorney general. I’m disappointed in the attorney general for many reasons,” the New York Times reports.
When asked whether he planned to fire Sessions, the president added: “We are looking at lots of different things.”
President Trump launched one of his most ferocious broadsides to date against Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an interview with The Hill.
Said Trump: “I don’t have an Attorney General. It’s very sad.”
He added: “I’m so sad over Jeff Sessions because he came to me. He was the first Senator that endorsed me. And he wanted to be Attorney General, and I didn’t see it. And then he went through the nominating process and he did very poorly. I mean, he was mixed up and confused.”
However, Trump wouldn’t say if he might fire Sessions: “We’ll see what happens. A lot of people have asked me to do that. And I guess I study history, and I say I just want to leave things alone, but it was very unfair what he did. And my worst enemies, I mean, people that, you know, are on the other side of me, in a lot of ways including politically, have said that was a very unfair thing he did.”
He concluded: “We’ll see how it goes with Jeff. I’m very disappointed in Jeff. Very disappointed.”
“Senate Republicans are in a jam when it comes to Jeff Sessions,” Politico reports.
“While resigned to President Donald Trump firing the attorney general after the midterm elections, they suspect that perhaps only a sitting senator could win confirmation as Sessions’ successor — that is, someone they could trust not to interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But no one from their ranks seems to want the job.”
George Papadopoulos told ABC News that he floated the idea of a summit between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin at a campaign security team meeting on March 31, 2016. Jeff Sessions, now the Attorney General, later told Congress he shut down the idea of a summit at that meeting.
“Papadopoulos said there were mixed reactions to the summit idea among Trump’s advisers, but that many in the campaign supported his efforts, including Corey Lewandowski, the then-campaign manager, Sam Clovis, a senior aide, and Trump himself. He recalled Trump nodding his head when Papadopoulos proposed the meeting, but then appeared to defer to Sessions.”
Said Papadopoulos: “He was open to this idea. And he deferred, of course, to then senior Senator Jeff Sessions, who I remember being quite enthusiastic.”
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