A report Monday morning said that President Trump was considering replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with his friend and supporter Rudy Giuliani. But if he was, the president is likely reconsidering the idea after the former New York City mayor told a reporter that Sessions was right to recuse himself.
Trump has said that his dissatisfaction with Sessions arose out of his decision to recuse himself after it was discovered that he had failed to disclose a meeting with a Russian ambassador at a confirmation hearing.
Sessions explained that he had met the ambassador in his capacity as a Senator and not as a Trump campaign transition member, and that they had not spoken about campaign issues, including sanctions on the Russian Federation.
"I believe that Sessions made the right decision under the rules of the Justice Department," Giuliani said to a CNN reporter Monday.
Axios reported Monday that Trump had floated the idea of nominating Giuliani, but added the caveat that the president often speculates with his associates in order to gauge their reaction.
Giuliani also batted down any suggestion that Trump was considering him to replace Sessions as the U.S. Attorney General.
Rudy Giuliani: Jeff Sessions 'made the right decision' to recuse himself from Russia probe https://t.co/Bp1RNEJtrB
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) July 24, 2017
Sessions told Tucker Carlson in March that he had decided to recuse himself despite doing nothing wrong in order to prevent even the appearance of impropriety.
“Recusal is not an admission of any wrongdoing,” Sessions explained. “It’s simply that whether or not you can be perceived as fairly deciding a case or evaluating a case. And so I committed to doing that after I became attorney general, and I’ve only been there three weeks. We met with professional staff, ethics people, to discuss this issue and we had a full meeting a week or so again."
"We planned to have a meeting today, it was on our schedule to make a final decision about whether or not I should recuse myself," he said. "And the reason I believe that I should recuse myself is because I was involved in the campaign to a degree I think it would have been perceived as that I wouldn’t be objective in participating in an investigation that might involve the campaign.”
Trump began a firestorm of speculation last week when he publicly berated the decision by Sessions to recuse himself. "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," Trump told the New York Times.
A report in June said that Sessions had offered to resign over the constant haranguing from Trump during meetings and in private about his recusal. More recently, some have speculated that the White House leaked a report to the press damaging Sessions by indicating that our intelligence agencies recorded the Russian ambassador admitting that he and Sessions discussed the campaign before the election.