After President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at Attorney General Jeff Sessions—yet again—for recusing himself from the Russia probe, the battered Trump loyalist responded by emphasizing his "unprecedented success at effectuating the president's agenda."
In a wide-ranging interview with "Fox & Friends" on Thursday morning, Trump had slammed Sessions for his recusal, claimed he only appointed the former senator from Alabama to his current post because "he was an original supporter," and said, "I put in an attorney general that never took control of the Justice Department."
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 23, 2018
In a statement that had corporate news outlets declaring, "Sessions fires back," the attorney general touts his role in pushing an agenda that "enforces our immigration laws"—such as by ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and tearing thousands of migrant children from their parents—and "advances religious liberty," like a directive last year that critics warned would "enable systemic, government-wide discrimination" against LGBTQ people.
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Sessions, in his statement, also attempts to reassure the public that as along as he is at the helm, the department "will not be improperly influenced by political considerations."
The exchange comes as Bloomberg reports that top Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, both signaled Thursday that the president could oust Sessions after the midterm elections. Such a move, the outlet notes, "would open the way for firing Robert Mueller or constraining his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election."
While Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein—who is overseeing the Mueller investigation—is next in the line of succession if Sessions is fired or resigned, Trump could install an interim attorney general. The White House claims that Trump has the authority to fire Rosenstein or Mueller, though many legal experts disagree and hundreds of thousands of Americans have pledged to take to the streets if he does.