U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Photo: REUTERS
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Sessions hits back at Trump over Justice Dept criticism

56 Comments
By Doina Chiacu and Steve Holland

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired back at President Donald Trump on Thursday after Trump gave a scathing assessment of his leadership at the Justice Department.

Sessions, a former U.S. senator from Alabama, was one of the first Republican lawmakers to back Trump's presidential election bid and has implemented his hardline immigration policies in the role of attorney general.

But Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing a probe into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow. Trump denies any collusion and calls the investigation a "witch hunt."

"I put in an attorney general who never took control of the Justice Department," Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired on Thursday. "He took the job and then he said: 'I'm going to recuse myself.' ... I said, 'What kind of a man is this?'"

In a rare rebuttal to Trump, Sessions quickly moved to defend himself.

"I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in," Sessions said in a statement. "While I am attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations."

The response sparked new speculation that Trump might fire Sessions, although some senior Republican lawmakers offered the attorney general support.

"I know this is a difficult position for him to be in, but I think it would be bad for the country, it would be bad for the president, it would be bad for the Department of Justice for him to be forced out under these circumstances," said Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican.

Senator Lindsey Graham, who is both close to Trump and a defender of Sessions, said he believed Trump would appoint a new attorney general but should wait until after Nov 6 congressional elections, in which Republicans are seeking to maintain control of both the House of Representatives and Senate.

The public spat between Sessions and the president came two days after Trump's former election campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on tax and bank fraud charges, and Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges.

Cohen also said Trump directed him to pay off two women who said they had affairs with Trump, payments that prosecutors say were in violation of campaign finance laws.

Under pressure over the Cohen and Manafort cases, Trump has renewed his criticism of Sessions and reprised his complaints about the Justice Department and the FBI, accusing them without providing evidence of treating him and his supporters unfairly.

In the interview with Fox News, Trump also criticized the widely used tactic of prosecutors offering lighter charges in criminal cases in return for information and testimony against others.

"It is called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal," Trump said.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump had discussed with his lawyers a possible pardon for Manafort but had been persuaded to wait until after the November elections.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed a slight drop in support among Republicans for Trump following the Manafort conviction and the Cohen plea.

The poll, conducted from Tuesday evening to Thursday, found that 78 percent of Republicans approved of Trump, down from 81 percent in a seven-day poll that ended on Monday.

Overall, 37 percent of adults said they approved of Trump’s performance in office - down from 43 percent in the earlier poll.

Trump’s approval numbers have been relatively stable since he took office in January 2017, when compared with his predecessors, and his popularity has not wavered much among Republicans.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,688 American adults, including 704 Democrats and 587 Republicans. It had a credibility interval, a measure of the poll’s precision, of 3 percentage points for the entire sample, 4 points for the Democrats and 5 points for the Republicans.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

56 Comments
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On a good day he (Sessions) is a wounded puppy.

Probably best line I'll read all day. Trump and Sessions deserve each other.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Sessions is a bigot and a xenophobe, with his head stuck 50 years in the past. He is contemptible in every possible way.

But it is nice to see him make this one correct decision, not completely capitulate to the Trump Crime Family.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

As long as America is sharply divided, Trump is safe.

His base will stand behind him, with guns if necessary.

-17 ( +4 / -21 )

The swamp churns, and all the disgusting swamp creatures begin turning on each other.

Trump opens his mouth and more of his servants feel the need to throw the knife in his back.

As the net from Mueller closes ever more closely around Trump's neck, we'll see more of his henchmen flip.

Then this national nightmare can end.

It can't happen soon enough.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Is Sessions hoping to see Pence, someone with similar religious beliefs, in office?

As long as America is sharply divided, Trump is safe.

Hats off to you and your fellow farmers in the roles you play in helping keep America and the 'west' divided. Let us fight amongst ourselves; we've been doing it for the last couple of centuries.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I guess even a whipped puppy nips at its master sometimes.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The only reason Trump wants to fire Sessions is so he can replace him with someone that will obstruct or end the Mueller investigation. Republicans, ever the patriots, are saying wait until after the November elections so it doesn't make Americans angry at us before an election. It's okay if they are angry after. 

So now he's admitting that he made someone the Attorney General of the United States of America based solely on the fact that the person was an early and loyal supporter? What about appointing only the best people? Trump has built a smellier and more disgusting swamp.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations."

Well that’s and oddly specific thing to say.

And it looks like Graham and others are saying they’ll be OK with business as usual:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/did-donald-trump-just-get-the-green-light-to-fire-jeff-sessions.html

Pretty creepy stuff.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

"Dear FOX News Advice, People on the Internet keep saying things about Trump that I don't like. How can I convince them to see things my way?"

The best answer would be, just don’t feed the disgruntled left. Dogs bark all the time. Lol

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

As long as America is sharply divided, Trump is safe.

Not sure I follow. If America was united would he be in danger?

His base will stand behind him, with guns if necessary.

No they won't, they are just infantile idiots with a gun fetish but they aren't going to march on DC. They'll get behind their keyboards in the flyover states or in Moscow troll farms and complain.

Donald Trump:

I love the poorly educated

Of course he does - the well-educated would never have elected this criminal.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Republicans, ever the patriots, are saying wait until after the November elections so it doesn't make Americans angry at us before an election. It's okay if they are angry after.

So, are you all still convinced that Trump won the elections fair and square? As Nunes says, "If we don't protect him, all of this goes away".

White House blocks bill that would protect elections

https://www.yahoo.com/news/white-house-blocks-bill-protect-elections-173459278.html

7 ( +10 / -3 )

These two bigots were made for each other. As the pressure mounts, expect more of this.

Trump sure hires the best, don't he?

His base will stand behind him, with guns if necessary.

That's worrying. I hope no innocent bystanders will be harmed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if the JT posters here even understand the word "bigot"? Seems theres a lot of hate on the left as well.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I wonder if the JT posters here even understand the word "bigot"?

I can't speak for m'learned colleagues, but I'm guessing they call it as they see it.

Both Sessions and Trump have a history of bigotry and prejudice.

And now they're doing battle. It's what the far right do - and they eventually implode from within.

Seems theres a lot of hate on the left as well.

Nothing hateful about standing up to bigotry. I wasn't aware it's a "left" thing. It would be interesting to see one of the bigots fire the other but it would backfire on the PotUS, so he'll have to put up with it for now.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Look for Sessions to last as AG until after the mid-terms. Then, he'll be moved to head the DHS -- a job he's better suited for -- and the current director of DHS will become the AG. Since both have already been approved by the Senate, there will be no need for a confirmation hearing.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Go for it, Texas. I dare you. :)

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Then, he'll be moved to head the DHS...

We're going to need a bigger puppy.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If Trump fires Sessions and gets away with it, it should be a strong blow to the GOP overall. For many years to come. Long after Trump is gone.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"The Republican Party is increasingly unrecognizable. It has become the Trump Party and because of what many consider the cowardice of Republicans leaders, if Trump goes down, this party may go down with him. The values that they're setting forth, their unwillingness to face up to realities, the way they pay no attention to scientific evidence on various things like climate change. There's a whole range of things now. The way this tax bill has been presented. There's a whole range of things which I think is going to leave this party in serious, serious trouble with, especially minorities of course, but increasingly with women and very much so with younger voters, so they're going to pay a price for this. If they don't change soon, start drawing some red lines, very clear red lines, I think the consensus coming out of what is happening with Jeff Sessions today on the Hill and the Senate is that he may well be removed from office after the mid-terms and we're now building towards a climax after the mid-terms in which there is a very real danger that Sessions will be out and that Trump is going to fire Mueller or put somebody in to close down the Mueller investigation and the Republicans have to help protect the special counsel now. If he (Sessions) gets fired without the Republicans' protection, they're going to be responsible, jointly responsible, for dismantling this investigation."

David Gergen, conservative columnist

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's gotten so bad that it makes Sessions look like a decent person.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Not a big fan of Sessions, in general, but it is heartening to see him behave with principle.

I still maintain that it is a real shame that the Electoral College made the Unindicted Co-conspirator President, while the American people unquestionably voted for Hillary.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But let’s remember “there’s no collusion “

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yep, still no collusion or changed votes. Still President.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

What stands out to me is that Trump wanted Sessions in that position to be loyal to Trump. Just like Comey claimed that Trump asked him to be loyal to Trump. *Just like Trump thinks being president means that the entire US populace is supposed to be loyal to Trump. * Sessions, and Comey and others has never been about loyalty to an elected official (whose very position requires them to be loyal to the people of the US.)

It has always been about loyalty to protecting and taking care of the people of the US.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Keep planting the seeds of division. Only ones that like it are the suckers that fall for it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yep, still no collusion or changed votes. Still President.

Still on conclusion to the investigation. Still a pathetic president.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"You know the only reason I gave him the job? Because I felt loyalty, he was an original supporter."

I can't believe he just out right admits that. He picks people for essential jobs based on his expectation of loyalty, not ability, principle, or the good of the nation. "You know the only reason I gave him the job? Because I felt loyalty, he was an original supporter." That's how a mafioso picks his lieutenants.

I am glad to see that Sessions is holding his loyalty to his country and the principles upon which it was founded, ahead of any loyalty to the guy who gave him his job.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Keep planting the seeds of division. Only ones that like it are the suckers that fall for it.

And the ones that are simply too dumb to recognise it - like those who helped put Trump into the Oval Office

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I am glad to see that Sessions is holding his loyalty to his country and the principles upon which it was founded, ahead of any loyalty to the guy who gave him his job.

Maybe. Or it could very possibly be that Sessions knows a lot about what Trump really did, and he doesn't want to be implicated in obstruction of justice. In the meantime, he can hold on to his AG job as long as he can and continue to do what he's always wanted to do: torment non-white immigrants.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

tajToday 11:55 am JST

"You know the only reason I gave him the job? Because I felt loyalty, he was an original supporter."

I can't believe he just out right admits that.

I'm not sure if he is fully aware of what he's saying and what it all means. It gives the impression of someone who needs people to wipe toothpaste off his chin and make sure he's remembered to put trousers on before they let him out in public.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Interesting research from WAPO showing tweet activity by various groups in response to Trump, including white nationalists. Puts one in mind of certain posters here on JT who post only on Trump-related threads.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/08/23/prominent-white-nationalists-are-celebrating-trump-on-twitter-more-than-usual/?utm_term=.fb557bd7b322

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It has always been about loyalty to protecting and taking care of the people of the US.

Yup. Trump is disloyal to the people of the US. Treating them as idiots, redefining meanings and posting revisionist statements, lying and lying and lying.

Not to mention the vanity of the man with his threats to other countries. allies and now with his comments about the economy... he's threatening the American people.

The spat with Sessions is just another sideshow.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's a great article expat, thank you.

For more, readers might like to watch this, from Vox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkQKVMYyPoM

Is this the bit where I'm supposed to say "oh my!"?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, are you all still convinced that Trump won the elections fair and square?

Yes, No one told Hillary to neglect the middle-class, No one told her to ignore middle America, No one told her to ignore the coal minors and steel workers, everyone wondered, why won’t she visit Wisconsin. ignoring survurban working class White voters for the past 8 years, for those people enthusiasm was way up and voter turnout was high, those are the ground zero fundamental reasons why Trump won fair and square.

As Nunes says, "If we don't protect him, all of this goes away".*

Funny, the left are desperately trying to protect Obama’s legacy and why? Because they don’t want it all to go away. Welcome to the work of politics.

"The Republican Party is increasingly unrecognizable.

Whereas the Democrat party is trying to play off what they really are, a party of Marxists and socialists.

It has become the Trump Party and because of what many consider the cowardice of Republicans leaders, if Trump goes down, this party may go down with him.

Hardly, now more conservatives are thankfully leaving the Kristol’s, the Will’s and the Fromm’s and embracing more of a populist movement that favors more power to the people and less on the Washington rhinos.

The values that they're setting forth, their unwillingness to face up to realities,

What are you talking about? The Democrats are fighting with each other as to who is the better socialist. Bernie and Cortez are the new face of the party that wants free everything and as with most liberals, they don’t know how or who will pay for it, just please vote us in and we’ll figure it out later.

the way they pay no attention to scientific evidence on various things like climate change.

Yes, we know the climate change conundrum is more important than the very lives of the people.

There's a whole range of things now. The way this tax bill has been presented. There's a whole range of things which I think is going to leave this party in serious, serious trouble with, especially minorities of course,

Despite the polls showing something very different.

but increasingly with women and very much so with younger voters, so they're going to pay a price for this. If they don't change soon, start drawing some red lines, very clear red lines, I think the consensus coming out of what is happening with Jeff Sessions today on the Hill and the Senate is that he may well be removed from office after the mid-terms and we're now building towards a climax after the mid-terms in which there is a very real danger that Sessions will be out

Danger? No, a relief!

and that Trump is going to fire Mueller or put somebody in to close down the Mueller investigation and the Republicans have to help protect the special counsel now.

If hat were the case he would have gotten rid of Rosenstein a long time ago, which he should have done in my opinion.

 If he (Sessions) gets fired without the Republicans' protection, they're going to be responsible, jointly responsible, for dismantling this investigation."

Yes, the Democrats will whine and moan about it, but what else is new? Honestly?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Trump had 3 million fewer voters than his opponent. US intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia interfered to help him. Putin confirmed that he wanted Trump to win. and in return, Trump has acted as Putin's supine servant, as even you admitted when Trump humiliated the US on the world stage in Helsinki.

Obama's legacy is people getting healthcare. Republicans don't like poor people not working, breeding, and immediately dying, so they took it away.

Conservatives are leaving the Republican party. It is more and more the party of the KKK.

Bernie and Alexandra want to support Americans. Hannity attacked Ocasio-Cortez for wanting benefits for veterans. Therefore, we can conclude Republicans hate veterans.

If climate change isn't addressed, it will kill everyone.

I'm not surprised you want to stop an investigation: the far-right hate law and order. They just want an untouchable king to worship.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What are you talking about? The Democrats are fighting with each other as to who is the better socialist. Bernie and Cortez are the new face of the party that wants free everything and as with most liberals, they don’t know how or who will pay for it, just please vote us in and we’ll figure it out later.

Do you see Trump as a fiscal conservative?

Have you done yet another screeching 180, this time on fiscally conservative ideas?

It’s just that you hammered the previous president for his spending.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes, No one told Hillary to neglect the middle-class, No one told her to ignore middle America, No one told her to ignore the coal minors and steel workers, everyone wondered, why won’t she visit Wisconsin. ignoring survurban working class White voters for the past 8 years, for those people enthusiasm was way up and voter turnout was high, those are the ground zero fundamental reasons why Trump won fair and square.

Yea, you know, like all those Wisconsin voters working for Harley Davidson that are losing their jobs because of Trump tariffs….

Funny, the left are desperately trying to protect Obama’s legacy and why? Because they don’t want it all to go away. Welcome to the work of politics.

His legacy is secure…

Whereas the Democrat party is trying to play off what they really are, a party of Marxists and socialists.

Marxists? Hardly. Socialists? A few. Meanwhile Republicans become the party of Putin and David Duke. Remember GOP (Guardians of Putin)…

Hardly, now more conservatives are thankfully leaving the Kristol’s, the Will’s and the Fromm’s and embracing more of a populist movement that favors more power to the people and less on the Washington rhinos.

Translation: Responsible Republicans are disgusted that their party has been taken over by con-men and charlatans, more aligned with Putin than Reagan…

What are you talking about? The Democrats are fighting with each other as to who is the better socialist. Bernie and Cortez are the new face of the party that wants free everything and as with most liberals, they don’t know how or who will pay for it, just please vote us in and we’ll figure it out later.

Thanks for agreeing with me.  

Yes, we know the climate change conundrum is more important than the very lives of the people.

Yes, like your children and grandchildren…

Despite the polls showing something very different.

Only in Orangeland…

MAGA - Many Are Getting Arrested….

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All readers back on topic please. Posts that do not focus on what is in the story will be removed.

Where is Sessions? Oh my...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKxk5c4479k

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Where is Sessions? Oh my...

Does that mean that Sessions is a Liberal? Also, Congress (which is mostly Republican) instructed Trump NOT to fire him. Trump is weak and in a corner.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Where is Sessions? Oh my...

Under his desk hiding.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"Under his desk hiding"

Hiding from the cats and eating cheese.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

After the Red Tsunami in November, President Trump needs to fire Rosenstein and Sessions in that order.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Texas - Don't forget Mueller.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Bass: fighting with each other as to who is the better socialist. Bernie and Cortez are the new face of the party that wants free everything and as with most liberals, they don’t know how or who will pay for it, just please vote us in and we’ll figure it out later.

FYI to the non-conservatives here, Ocasio-Cortez has been on the front page of Fox News since she was elected. Every single day. Today’s story is about her campaign supporting taxi drivers while using Uber.

She is being presented as the left’s savior, someone we all love because we can finally embrace our true socialist roots as a party. We are putting her up as the face and the future of our party and we all love and agree with all of her policies.

Or so the narrative goes in the bubble. You’ll see conservatives bring her up a lot because they can misrepresent the left so be ready for it. Outside of the bubble, she’s not mentioned much.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Under his desk hiding.

No, Sessions is on all the news biting back at Trump. He is very very public. Just check any news site. Trump can't fire him. It's so funny. He is so weak. Trump hired so many people who have turned against him....Sessions, Mueller, Omarosa, Cohen...the list go on...they all ended up burning Trump. No matter what Trump gets burned. He's so incompetent!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Jeff Sessions has no command presence

Trump hired him. Big failure like his racist Muslim ban.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wait - didn't Trump brag that he would hire the "greatest people"? And shouldn't the AG be somewhat high on that list? And now he's regretting his choice. Fail! And it's not just Sessions - 16 months into the Trump presidency, and how many positions have been replaced or are beleaguered. That this is not normal is precisely because he Trump cannot be trusted. He has no friends, only allies, and his allies are defecting rapidly.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Trump hired him"

Yeah, he's been known to make some mistakes. Wasn't really his fault, as Sessions never let Trump know he was going to recuse himself from the most important job at hand. You, on the other hand, have never made any mistakes, right?

"his racist Muslim ban"

Nope, it's not a Muslim ban, not when the most populous Muslim country is not affected by the restrictions. You're never going to admit to this, are you?

Trump's latest tweet on Sessions - oh my!

"'Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.' Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the 'other side' including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks, Mueller conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr...... ....FISA abuse, Christopher Steele & his phony and corrupt Dossier, the Clinton Foundation, illegal surveillance of Trump Campaign, Russian collusion by Dems - and so much more. Open up the papers & documents without redaction? Come on Jeff, you can do it, the country is waiting!"

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

After the Red Tsunami in November, President Trump needs to fire Rosenstein and Sessions in that order.

All enemies of Trump will be purged. You’ve got it right there, Comrade Texas. Your vision for the future of the motherland is pure. Strength!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No backbone ... enjoys being humiliated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jeff is gonna have to look for a new job soon. He would be a good Walmart greeter.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Jeff is gonna have to look for a new job soon. He would be a good Walmart greeter.

WRONG!!!!

Jeff Sessions: $6 million (Attorney General)

(Net worth according to news source)

President Hillary pays her deep state staff well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's kind of funny watching Team Trump start to feed on itself. All those good people he hired that he knew within five minutes were good people. So many good people. So many.

Apparently Trump's accountant has now flipped on him, and been given immunity.

One more good person is about to get demonized by Team Trump.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"One more good person is about to get demonized by Team Trump."

Yeah, riiiiight! Oh my...

Trump Browbeats Jeff Sessions, Much to the Delight Of All Sane People

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_iRSXJ7B88

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh my...

Former Federal Prosecutor Sydney Powell explains why Attorney General Jeff Sessions should have declined the job of leading the Department of Justice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lX8DUjN88M

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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