President Donald Trump wishes he’d never picked Jeff Sessions to serve as his attorney general, as he told the entire world Wednesday morning on Twitter.
In a string of tweets that quoted Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, who appeared on CBS, at length, Trump agreed that Sessions should have told him before the appointment that he would recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia.
The tweets come after the New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump had asked Sessions to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in March 2017. Sessions made the decision after consulting DOJ lawyers and ethics officials.
The investigation is instead being overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller to head the probe as a special counsel after Trump fired FBI Director Jim Comey; Trump believes Sessions would never have appointed a special counsel, according to the Times.
Sessions reportedly refused to change his decision.
Gowdy was asked to comment on the New York Times report on Wednesday while appearing on CBS This Morning. He defended the president’s reported actions.
“I think what the president is doing is expressing frustration that Attorney General Sessions should have shared his reasons for recusal before he took the job, not afterward. If I were the president and I picked someone to be the country’s chief law enforcement officer, and they told me later, ‘Oh by the way, I’m not going to be able to participate in the most important case in the office, i would be frustrated too. That’s how I read that, is, ‘Sen. Sessions, why didn’t you tell me this before I picked you? There are lots of really good lawyers in the country.’ He could have picked someone else.”
Trump’s anger at Sessions has only intensified along with the investigation into Russia. In May 2017, Trump reportedly attacked Sessions in an Oval Office meeting, to the point that Sessions sent a letter of resignation to the White House. (Trump ultimately rejected the letter.) In July that same year, he told the New York Times in an interview that he would have never hired Sessions if he’d known Sessions would recuse himself.
About a week later, he tweeted that Sessions’ position on Hillary Clinton “VERY weak.” Then, in February 2018, he berated Sessions for asking the Justice Department’s inspector general — who Trump dubbed an “Obama guy” — to look into an allegation in a Republican memo that the FBI misled a judge.
Cover image: Attorney General Jeff Sessions listens as President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the 37th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol Building on May 15, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)