WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday snapped back at Donald Trump in response to the president’s latest round of criticism.
Appearing on a wide-ranging interview on Fox & Friends the president called Sessions out, saying he “never took control of the Justice Department”.
“Jeff Sessions never took control of the Justice Department, and it’s a sort of an incredible thing,” Trump proclaimed.
Firing back in a written statement, Sessions, who has been the target of the president’s anger on countless occasions, denied Trump’s allegations, claiming he has always done his job as Attorney General in full compliance with his duties.
“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 rights of the American people, reduces violent crime, enforces our immigration laws, promotes economic growth, and advances religious liberty,” Sessions stated. “While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”
Sessions released the statement just prior to joining the president at the White House for a meeting on prison reform legislation.
For months Trump has publicly vented his frustrations over Sessions’ recusing himself from the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Sessions recused himself in 2017, due to his involvement with the Trump campaign, in compliance with Justice Department regulations.
“When everybody sees what’s going on in the Justice Department—I always put ‘justice’ now with quotes—it’s a very, very sad day. Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done. Or he should have told me,” Trump told Ainsley Earhardt. “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?’”
In yet another jab at Sessions, Trump said the “only reason” he appointed him as Attorney General was out of a sense of obligation due to Sessions’ work during the president’s 2016 campaign.
“Because I felt loyalty, he was an original supporter. He was on the campaign. He knows there was no collusion,” Trump explained. “And what’s come out of Manafort? No collusion. What’s come out of Michael Cohen? No collusion.”