President Trump told Bloomberg in an interview Thursday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will remain in his position until at least the upcoming midterm elections.
“I just would love to have him do a great job,” Trump told the publication in an interview, before departing for a rally in Indiana.
The president declined to comment when asked if he would keep Sessions on after the November elections.
The tensions between Trump and his attorney general appeared to reach a pivotal point last week after Trump again criticized Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation during an appearance on Fox News.
Trump claimed he only appointed Sessions, a key member of his campaign, because he “felt loyalty” and blamed the attorney general for failing to crack down on “corruption” at the Justice Department.
In a rare statement in response, Sessions said that he would “not be improperly influenced” by political pressure.
The strains in their relationship, which have percolated for months, have given way to broad speculation that Sessions could be fired or quit. Last week, some senators raised the prospect of replacing Sessions after the midterm elections.
“The president’s entitled to having an attorney general he has faith in, somebody that is qualified for the job, and I think there will come a time sooner rather than later where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Others, however, have warned Trump against removing Sessions.
Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian interference is central to Trump’s frustration.
Sessions made the decision early last year after it was revealed that he had contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. that he did not disclose to Congress during his confirmation proceedings.
In the interview with Bloomberg Thursday, Trump repeated his previously voiced opinion that the special counsel’s investigation as “illegal.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is overseeing the probe run by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether there was collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow and whether the president obstructed justice.
Trump has repeatedly derided the investigation as a “witch hunt,” calling on Sessions to end the probe earlier in August.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
August 30th, 2018