Does he have any regrets?
After recusing himself from the Russia probe, Attorney General Jeff Sessions came under heavy fire from Trump and his cronies, who expected Sessions to carry his slavish loyalty from the campaign trail to the Justice Department, and serve Trump above the law.
Sessions appears on Fox Business on Sunday, and in the taped interview, he tells Maria Bartiromo that he still feels recusing himself was the right thing.
“I believe I did the right thing, the only thing I could do,” Sessions told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo in an interview that will air in full Sunday morning on Fox News. She had asked him if he had any regrets in the recusal last year, which elicited the ire of his boss, President Trump.
“I participated in this campaign, and as such under explicit regulations of the Department of Justice, no one can participate in the investigation of a campaign in which they were an active participant,” added Sessions.
He did the right thing.
Sessions found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to explain why he failed to disclose conversations he had with the Russian ambassador in his confirmation hearings.
Frankly, those conversations could have been a normal part of his job, as they happened while Sessions was still a senator. Out of caution, however, he stepped aside and put all things Russia-related in the hands of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein is responsible for appointing special counsel Robert Mueller, and as we know, Mueller’s investigation has been a real irritant for Trump.
Since the decision to recuse himself, Sessions, who was loyal to Trump throughout the campaign, has been attacked relentlessly from Trump. It got so bad, that at one point in 2017, Sessions offered to resign.
In fact, former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is quoted in an upcoming book, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, as saying he talked Sessions out of resigning several times.
Priebus’ account said Sessions offered his resignation to the president in May 2017 after the president reportedly called him an “idiot” and belittled him to his face in an Oval Office meeting when he rescued himself from the Russia investigation. After Priebus convinced Trump not to accept Sessions’ letter of resignation, he again diffused a tense situation after Trump ordered Priebus to get Sessions to resign “flat out” as he grew increasingly frustrated due to Mueller’s investigation and he openly called the attorney general “weak” on Twitter.
Because Trump has no loyalty to anyone, including those he demands personal loyalty from.
Sessions is hanging in there, and is even seen as attempting to curry favor with the president by doing more of his bidding (He just announced that the FBI would be under investigation, a move sure to please Trump).
Maybe that’ll sustain him until the next time he steps out of line and tries to do something ethical.