Trump Says He Wouldnโ€™t Have Hired Sessions Citing Recusal [LISTEN]

President Trump said on Wednesday that he never would have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision โ€œvery unfair to the president.โ€

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessionsโ€™s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. โ€œSessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,โ€ Mr. Trump said.

โ€œJeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,โ€ he added. โ€œHow do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, โ€˜Thanks, Jeff, but Iโ€™m not going to take you.โ€™ Itโ€™s extremely unfair โ€” and thatโ€™s a mild word โ€” to the president.โ€

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Mr. Trump criticized both the acting F.B.I. director who has been filling in since Mr. Comeyโ€™s dismissal and the deputy attorney general who recommended it. And he took on Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel now leading the investigation into Russian meddling in last yearโ€™s election.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Mueller was running an office rife with conflicts of interest and warned investigators against delving into matters too far afield from Russia. Mr. Trump never said he would order the Justice Department to fire Mr. Mueller, nor would he outline circumstances under which he might do so. But he left open the possibility as he expressed deep grievance over an investigation that has taken a political toll in the six months since he took office.

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