Attorney General Jeff Sessions lost the confidence of President Trump when he recused himself from the Trump-Russia investigation. (Photo: Screen capture)
(CNSNews.com) – President Trump deserves an attorney general in whom he has confidence, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said on several occasions in recent days.
President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions do not have a good working relationship — in fact, it is “unsustainable,” Graham told Fox News last week. “I’m not blaming anybody. I love Jeff Sessions. But from my point of view, the country is not being well-served with this much friction.”
Graham said any lawyer would have recused himself, as Sessions did, from overseeing an investigation into a campaign of which he was part. “Jeff did the right thing legally,” Graham said. And he added that Sessions’ recusal from the Trump-Russia investigation, which Trump has frequently and furiously denounced, is not the only point of conflict between them: “This conflict is far beyond Mueller and recusal,” said Graham, who recently golfed with Trump.
Another point of friction may be the April 6 memorandum, issued by Sessions, directing each United States Attorney’s Office along the Southwest Border to
“to adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy” for all people caught entering the country illegally.
This led to the separation of children from their locked-up parents — a policy that was immediately, furiously and emotionally denounced by anti-Trumpers as well as some Republicans who support Trump. The public outcry forced the president to backtrack, after days of controversy.
On June 20, President Trump signed an executive order to keep the families of illegal border crossers together. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” he said at the time, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Sessions, who instituted the zero-tolerance policy, was not present when Trump rescinded it.
Nowadays, some of the people who seized on “family separation” to bash Trump are nevertheless warning him not to fire Sessions, the man who ordered the zero-tolerance policy on April 6.
Democrats who oppose Sessions’ policies — and voted against his nominatio — now want to keep him in place to protect the Mueller investigation, which they hope will lead to Trump’s ouster.
For example, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who has been personally attacked by Trump and despises the president, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, “The only reason to fire Jeff Sessions is as a precursor to fire Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller.” Blumenthal warned that firing Sessions would be a “red line.”
There is agreement on the other side of the aisle as well. At a news conference on Tuesday, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), not wanting to churn the midterm waters, said he has “total confidence” in the job Sessions is doing. “I think he ought to stay exactly where he is,” he said.
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