President Donald Trump granted an interview to Hill.TV from the Oval Office on Tuesday, and he did not hold back when asked about his thoughts on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
What did President Trump say?
“I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad,” Trump said, referring to more than just Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the ongoing Russian collusion investigation. “I’m not happy at the border, I’m not happy with numerous things, not just this.”
Trump explained, “I’m so sad over Jeff Sessions because he came to me. He was the first senator that endorsed me. And he wanted to be attorney general, and I didn’t see it.”
“And then he went through the nomination process and he did very poorly,” the president continued. “I mean, he was mixed up and confused, and people that worked with him for, you know, a long time in the Senate were nice to him, but he was giving very confusing answers. Answers that should have been easily answered. And that was a rough time for him.”
Trump then indicated that the arduous nomination process may have led Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia collusion probe.
“[Sessions] gets in and probably because of the experience he had going through the nominating when somebody asked him the first question about Hillary Clinton or something he said, ‘I recuse myself, I recuse myself,’ ” Trump said.
“And now it turned out he didn’t have to recuse himself,” Trump added. “Actually, the FBI reported shortly thereafter any reason for him to recuse himself. And that’s very sad what happened.”
Responding to whether he might fire his attorney general, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens. A lot of people have asked me to do that. And I guess I study history, and I say I just want to leave things alone, but it was very unfair what he did. And my worst enemies, I mean, people that, you know, are on the other side of me, in a lot of ways including politically, have said that was a very unfair thing he did.”
The president added, “We’ll see how it goes with Jeff. I’m very disappointed in Jeff. Very disappointed.”
A ‘hard shove’ to get Sessions out
The interview was conducted by Hill.TV’s John Solomon and Buck Sexton.
Reporting on it later on “Rising,” Solomon told Krystal Ball and Sexton, “There was a later part in the interview where [the president] said, ‘Everybody in my Cabinet’s doing a really great job, Secretary of State [Mike] Pompeo is a great guy, a rock star, except that one guy I mentioned before.’ He threw Sessions in again at the end.
“This was a hard shove to tell Jeff Sessions to get out of the Cabinet,” Solomon concluded.