Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference to announce a criminal law enforcement action involving China, at the Department of Justice in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Justice Department and FBI leaders announced criminal charges and an operation to thwart Chinese economic espionage. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Trump is who he is, love it or hate it, and that was on display this morning when he went right at Jeff Sessions after the former Attorney General failed to win a majority in the AL Senate race. Things will now move to a runoff between he and former football coach Tommy Tuberville.
This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt. Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins! https://t.co/2jGnRgOS6h
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020
My personal opinion is that this is a battle the President doesn’t need right now, but he’s never going to tone it down and I’m under no illusions he will. It is what it is and he’ll have to win being himself at this point.
The obvious issue here is that Sessions has a decent shot to win the runoff and end up the nominee. Then what? Does he still endorse him after publicly going after him like this? I’d hope so, but who knows. What I do know is that the Republicans have to win this Senate seat back and throwing up complications to that doesn’t strike me as very useful. And while I haven’t deeply studied this race, their are questions about Tuberville’s credibility as a conservative. It’s possible Sessions is simply the best choice here.
On the merits, I get the President’s frustration. Sessions should have resigned immediately given that he had to have known he was going to recuse as soon as he took office. A president needs a functioning Attorney General, not one who accepts a position and then promptly removes himself from the most important case of the day. Further, it’s clear Sessions had no reason to actually recuse. His “Russian contacts” were laughable, with one being a harmless handshake at a public event. He should have either stood tall or stepped aside. On that note, Trump shares some blame, as he probably should have told Sessions to step aside.
In the end, I don’t think Sessions did anything he did out of maliciousness or to hurt anyone, though. I think he was just genuinely confused as to how to handle the situation, which to be fair was pretty unique, and folded under the pressure. I think he made the wrong choice, but I understand why he did it.
Regardless, things just got a lot more heated going into November and eyes need to remain on the ball. Joe Biden is not going to be nearly as easy to beat as Bernie Sanders would have been. Every ally helps, even if it’s Jeff Sessions. I’m not gonna pretend I think this is some major catastrophe, as it’ll probably not matter much, but choosing his battles more strategically can only help the President.