Trump says he wishes he hadn’t picked Jeff Sessions as attorney general and is still mad about the Russia investigation recusal.
Trump regrets his decision to pick Jeff Sessions as attorney general, the latest sign of his growing anger over the Russia investigation.
Citing Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who said earlier on CBS that Trump “could have picked somebody else” to lead the Justice Department, the president responded, “I wish I did!”
Gowdy was asked whether Trump obstructed justice when he reportedly asked Sessions early last year to reverse his decision to rescue himself from the Russia probe, an interaction reported Tuesday by The New York Times.
In comments later quoted by Trump, Gowdy said Trump was merely “expressing frustration that Attorney General Sessions should have shared these reasons for recusal before he took the job, not afterward.”
“There are lots of really good lawyers in the country, he could have picked somebody else!” Trump wrote, quoting Gowdy.
The president has lashed out at a variety of targets as the Russia investigation has moved closer to his inner circle, including special counsel Robert Mueller and now Sessions.
Sessions, a former Alabama senator and top Trump campaign backer, decided to recuse himself from the probe after it was revealed he had not disclosed contacts with Russia’s U.S. ambassador during the 2016 presidential race.
That decision angered Trump, who viewed it as the ultimate betrayal. The president has said publicly he wants an attorney general who will shield him legally and politically.
“If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you,’” Trump told the Times in July 2017. “It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.”
The Times reported that Mueller is probing the interaction between Sessions and the president in his effort to determine whether Trump obstructed the investigation into ties between Moscow’s election interference and the Trump campaign.
More at The Hill