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Trump: I Never Would Have Appointed Sessions if I’d Known He’d Recuse Himself

Jeff Sessions officially endorses Donald J. Trump for President in Madison, Alabama (Photo: Screenshot)

In a story and video posted today by the New York Times, President Donald Trump expressed his frustration with Jeff Sessions over the Attorney General’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

The video starts with this dialogue:

President Trump: “Sessions gets the job. Right after he gets the job, he recuses himself.”

NYT Reporter 1: “Was that a mistake?”

President Trump: “Well, 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.”

NYT Reporter 2: “He gave you no heads up at all?”

President Trump: “Zero. So 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.

From there, the President goes on to discuss his frustrations with former FBI director James Comey, whom he fired in May at Sessions’ behest, and Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, who was appointed by Sessions’ Justice Department to lead the investigation into Russia’s alleged influence on the election.

In a formal response to the Russia probe, President Trump stated, “As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”

The Times piece summarized the President’s posture on Sessions and the Russia issue, stating:

But Mr. Trump left little doubt during the interview that the Russia investigation remained a sore point. His pique at Mr. Sessions, in particular, seemed fresh even months after the attorney general’s recusal. Mr. Sessions was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump’s candidacy and was rewarded with a key cabinet slot, but has been more distant from the president lately.


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