President Donald Trump doubled down Tuesday on his attacks against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying he is “very disappointed” in the nation’s top prosecutor while declining to say if he plans to fire him.
Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions in recent interviews for his decision in March to recuse himself from any investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“I am disappointed in the Attorney General,” Trump said at a White House press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “He should not have recused himself almost immediately after he took office, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office, and I would have have quite simply picked somebody else, so I think that’s a bad thing —not for the President but for the presidency. I think it’s unfair to the presidency, and that’s the way I feel.”
When asked whether he will fire Sessions, Trump said “time will tell.” “I told you before I’m very disappointed with the Attorney General, but we will see what happens,” he said. “Time will tell. Time will tell.”
In an earlier interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Trump was asked why he would continue to criticize Sessions without firing him. “I’m just looking at it,” he told the Journal. “I’ll just see. It’s a very important thing.”
Sessions was the first U.S. Senator to endorse Trump for the presidency last year, but Trump also dismissed that display of support on Tuesday.
“When they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama,” Trump told the Journal. “I had 40,000 people. He was a senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, ’What do I have to lose?’ And he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement. But I’m very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.”
Trump has repeatedly slammed “illegal leaks,” from intelligence officials, and at Tuesday’s press conference, he said again that he wants Sessions to be “much tougher” on them.
“I want the Attorney General to be much tougher on the leaks from intelligence agencies, which are leaking like rarely have they ever leaked before at a very important level,” Trump said Tuesday afternoon. “These are intelligence agencies. We cannot have that happen.”
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