Trump tweets at A.G. 'Jeff': Now go after my political foes

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

President Trump on Friday escalated his long-running feud with his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, by urging the nation’s top law enforcement official to investigate alleged “corruption” by his perceived enemies.

The president did so in a tweet that quoted Sessions’s declaration that the “Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”

“Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants,” Trump tweeted, only to use the same tweet to ask Sessions to “look into all of the corruption on the ‘other side.’”

According to Trump, the “other side” includes Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, former FBI Director James Comey, special counsel Robert Mueller, ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, current Justice Department employee Bruce Ohr, ex-British spy Christopher Steele — who wrote the so-called Trump dossier — and alleged “Russian collusion” by the Democratic Party.

The president also complained about the sentence for Reality Winner, the former National Security Agency contractor who was sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison after pleading guilty to leaking a top-secret government report on Russian hacking.

“Ex-NSA contractor to spend 63 months in jail over ‘classified’ information,” Trump tweeted. “Gee, this is ‘small potatoes’ compared to what Hillary Clinton did! So unfair Jeff, Double Standard.”

Trump and Sessions at the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va., on Dec. 15, 2017. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

In a “Fox & Friends” interview that had aired Thursday, the president castigated Sessions, who shortly after he was appointed attorney general recused himself from Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia.

“I put in an attorney general that never took control of the Justice Department,” Trump said. “Jeff Sessions never took control of the Justice Department, and it’s a sort of an incredible thing.

“Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done — or he should have told me,” Trump continued. “Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself, and then you wouldn’t have put him in. He took the job and then he said, ‘I’m going to recuse myself.’ I said, ’What kind of a man is this?’”

Trump said the “only reason” he gave Sessions the nation’s top law enforcement officer post was because he worked on the president’s campaign and was the first sitting senator to endorse him.

“You know the only reason I gave him the job: because I felt loyalty,” Trump said. “He was an original supporter.”

Vice President Mike Pence swears in Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general on Feb. 9, 2017, with President Trump and Sessions’s wife, Mary, watching. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Sessions, who rarely responds to the president’s public criticism, fired back in a carefully worded statement.

“I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the president’s agenda — one that protects the safety and security and rights of the American people, reduces violent crime, enforces our immigration laws, promotes economic growth, and advances religious liberty,” Sessions said.

Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions. (Yahoo News photo Illustration; photos: Leah Millis/Reuters, Donald Trump via Twitter, Wilfredo Lee/AP, Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images, AP)

He continued: “While I am attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action. However, no nation has a more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement investigators and prosecutors than the United States. I am proud to serve with them and proud of the work we have done in successfully advancing the rule of law.”

Shortly after the statement was released, Sessions met with Trump at the White House for a previously scheduled meeting to discuss prison reform. According to CNN, their public sniping was not discussed.


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