Wednesday, 30 May 2018

National Review/Mairead McArdle: Trump: ‘I Wish I Did’ Not Pick Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

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Trump: ‘I Wish I Did’ Not Pick Jeff Sessions for Attorney General
By Mairead McArdle   

May 30, 2018 10:02 AM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Aaron P. Bernstein)

President Trump said Wednesday morning that wishes he picked someone besides Jeff Sessions for attorney general, one of his most direct attacks on the former senator.

“I wish I did!” the president wrote on Twitter after quoting Congressman Trey Gowdy, who expressed sympathy with Trump’s frustration that he could have picked someone else to be the nation’s cop.

Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation a year ago after pressure to do so due to his contacts with the Russian ambassador as well as his role as a campaign surrogate.

Trump has publicly attacked Sessions on several occasions since his recusal, even though the former Alabama senator was one of the first high-profile Republicans to endorse the New York real estate billionaire during campaign season.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the president asked Sessions to reverse his recusal, frustrated with his attorney general’s inability to help him regarding the investigation of his campaign’s ties to Russia. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating the president’s request to determine whether Trump tried to obstruct the Russia probe.

“I think what the President is doing is expressing frustration that Attorney General Sessions should have shared these reasons for recusal before he took the job, not afterward,” Gowdy said on CBS in the interview that the president quoted.
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“He could have picked someone else,” the South Carolina Republican added.

Gowdy broke with the president, however, when he defended the Obama administration FBI’s use of a confidential informant to probe connections between Russia and the Trump campaign before the election.

“Based on what I have seen, I don’t know what the FBI could have done or should have done other than run out a lead that someone loosely connected with the campaign was making assertions about Russia, I would think you would want the FBI to find out whether there was any validity to what those people were saying,” the Tea Party congressman said.

Trump has dubbed the informant operation “Spygate” and accused the “criminal deep state” of politically-motivated spying on his campaign, saying it may be “one of the biggest political scandals in history!”

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