- Title: Sessions' allies say Trump using Twitter attacks to force resignation
- Date: 25th July 2017
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (FILE - JUNE 13, 2017) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) WIDE SIDE SHOT OF HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, JEFF SESSIONS, SAYING: "It's just like 'Through the Looking Glass'. I mean what is this? I explained how in good faith I said I had not met with Russians because they were suggesting I as a surrogate had been meeting continuously with Russians. I said I didn't meet with them." SENATORS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, JEFF SESSIONS, SAYING: "Many have suggested that my recusal is because I felt I was a subject of the investigation myself, that I may have done something wrong, but this is the reason I recused myself. I felt I was required to under the rules of the Department of Justice, and as a leader of the Department of Justice, I should comply with the rules, obviously."
- Embargoed: 8th August 2017 17:31
- Keywords: tweets Jeff Sessions Clinton AG Attorney General President Donald Trump emails recuse Trump Russia Sessions
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., + HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, UNITED STATES / INTERNET / IN AIR
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., + HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, UNITED STATES / INTERNET / IN AIR
- Country: USA
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0086R7V4NB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS WHITE FLASHES
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' allies say U.S. President Donald Trump is carrying out a deliberate public campaign to pressure him to quit, rather than fire him outright, but the country's top lawyer has no intention of resigning.
Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday (July 25) that Sessions had "taken a VERY weak position" on investigating his former opponent in the 2016 presidential election, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, over her use of a private email server. On Monday (July 24), Trump called his attorney general "beleaguered."
Trump is angry that Sessions recused himself from the federal investigation into possible collusion between Trump's election campaign team and Russia. The Kremlin says it did not interfere in the election, and Trump has denied any collusion.
Sessions' recusal means he has no oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose wide-ranging investigation has focused on Trump aides and his son-in-law Jared Kushner and cast a deep shadow over Trump's presidency.
The public attacks by a president on a member of his own Cabinet and one-time close political ally have stunned many in Washington. Trump has torn out yet another page from the rulebook - typically a president would convey his displeasure with a cabinet secretary out of the public eye.
Trump's public criticism of Sessions began in earnest in an interview with the New York Times last week in which he said that he would not have hired him had he known he would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
He followed that with the critical tweets, and close aide, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders reinforced Trump's frustration with Sessions.
When asked about the possibility of Trump's firing of Sessions on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan says it's up to the president to make his own personnel decisions.
At a news conference last Thursday (July 20), Sessions said he loved his job and planned to stay in it "as long as that is appropriate."
Sessions recused himself in March from the Russia investigation after failing to disclose at his confirmation hearing that he had held meetings last year with Russia's ambassador in Washington.
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