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White House statement about Sessions is not exactly a ringing endorsement

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said merely that she wasn't aware of any intention on the behalf of the president to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Image Source: YouTube screenshot composite)

Many took notice of the statement made by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the trust that President Trump has in Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday.

Here's what she said

When asked, "Does the president want to get rid of the attorney general?" at Thursday's White House briefing, Huckabee Sanders gave as tepid a response as possible.

"Not that I know of," she said.

The statement was not the ringing endorsement one might expect from a president of his own attorney general, especially one which many say has been greatly successful in accomplishing Trump's agenda.

A rekindled feud

Sessions fired back defensively at a tweet President Trump posted on Wednesday criticizing his actions as the attorney general.

"Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse[?]" asked the president. "Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!"

Sessions responded later with a short statement, saying, “As long as I am the attorney general, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”

Trump had criticized Sessions before for recusing himself from the investigations into Russian election interference and alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

Republicans decry Trump attacks on Sessions

Trump's continuing attacks on Attorney General Sessions were themselves assailed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who said Wednesday that they were inappropriate since the attorney general properly recused himself from the Russian investigations.

"I think (Sessions) removed himself appropriately from all things Russia and 2016, so when the President beats on Jeff Sessions, I think it's inappropriate 'cause he doesn't have the ability to make these decisions," Graham told CNN.

Another Republican, Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, said that he would resign if he were in Sessions' peculiar circumstance.

"I wouldn't stay at all unless the president wanted me to stay, if he appointed me," Shelby said to Neil Cavuto on Fox Business. 

"I wouldn't be anybody's whipping boy. I wouldn't be belittled because the president's saying he doesn't have any confidence in you," Shelby explained. "So that is Jeff's challenge right now, and what he wants to do and how he does it. He's a good man. He's going through a lot; he's got a lot of challenges."

Here's a video of Shelby's comments:

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