Not one to be afraid of a little bridge burning, Trump revealed to the NYT during an extremely strange interview that if he could do it all again, he wouldn’t have appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. The reasoning? Trump hates that Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.
According to Trump:
Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.
Sessions recused himself after it came to light that he’d had previously undisclosed talks with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016. This despite the assurance during Sessions’ testimony at his confirmation hearing, where he said: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”
Session’s recusal was seen by many as a half-measure, given that even many Republicans have called for the Attorney General to step down in light of his secret conversations.
Trump ultimately believes that the recusal is what led to the appointment of a special counsel to look into the administration’s Russian dealings. Trump obviously doesn’t believe the special counsel should exist, and thinks if Session hadn’t recused himself, it would have all gone away.
“Sessions 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.”
It’s an odd thing for Trump to say, given that for Sessions to have claimed he’d recuse himself, he would have had admit to those meetings with Kislyak. At the time of his confirmation, Sessions was still pretending those encounters had never happened. So really what Trump should be upset about is that Sessions lied to everybody, and that Sessions is still the acting Attorney General. Because he’s a liar.