Good Thursday morning.
Sessions gets hammered by Trump
Read our article about Sessions here
President Donald Trump attacked his AG Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, setting off a political firestorm that led to several Republican Senators breaking with the President. He called Sessions “beleaguered” and “weak”.”
From Braeden Politics Life
In the last few days, President Donald Trump has begun attacking publicly his Attorney General Jeff Sessions completely out of the blue. He has been attacking him on Twitter, in speeches publicly, even in the White House Rose Garden. Trump has called him “beleaguered” “very weak” and tweeted “Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives,” he tweeted. “Drain the Swamp!” In contrast, President Trump tweeted in March that he is “an honest man.” The attacks on Sessions come amid the Russia investigation visibly heating up, with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner testifying earlier this week and former campaign manager Paul Manafort being invited to testify. The President has been calling for question Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigation, even though he did so a while back.
In contrast, President Trump tweeted in March that he is “an honest man.” The attacks on Sessions come amid the Russia investigation visibly heating up, with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner testifying earlier this week and former campaign manager Paul Manafort being invited to testify. The President has been calling for question Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigation, even though he did so a while back.
This ordeal for Sessions has come as he has been attending his regular White House meetings as AG, going about his job, and staying quiet about the attacks. Minutes after Sessions retreated to the back of a black car at the White House after a meeting their President Trump fired off his tweet about the $700,000 in campaign contributions in question, which stretched the facts.
Sessions have refused to resign thus far, and it seems he has no intention of leaving. Rumor has it that he only intends to leave if the president fires him. President Trump seems to be trying to get Sessions to resign so that he won’t have to fire him, something that people say he doesn’t like, even for a guy whose most famous line is “you’re fired.” Just take the firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was fired via a body guard delivering the news in an envelope while Comey was in California. While he was speaking to FBI agents one of their California offices he saw the story on TV saying that Trump was firing him, and laughed thinking it was a joke.
While the Attorney General was at the White House, attending a “principals small group meeting” Trump was in his private residence. Trump refused to confront him face-to-face. Some of his aides have privately recommended that he talk to Sessions about his grievances in person instead of bashing him on Twitter, but clearly, that advice has gone unheeded.
One of the most vocal opponents of Trump’s recent moves on Sessions was Senator Lindsey Graham. On Wednesday, speaking to reporters, he said “I would fire somebody that I did not believe could serve me well rather than trying to humiliate him in public, which is a sign of weakness,” the Senator told reporters. “”I would just go ahead and say, ‘I appreciate your service, you need to be fired.’”
While Sessions was at the White House the President was not busy, but rather at his residence. His official workday didn’t start until 10:15 AM on Wednesday. I wish I could start my work at 10:15, that would be nice.
White House Press Secretary (newly minted) was asked about Trump’s recent treatment of Sessions today at the daily briefing. Watch above as she says: “The President’s been very clear about where he is,” Sanders said. “He is obviously disappointed.” “You can be disappointed in someone but still want them to continue to do their job,” she remarked.
To speak to President Trump’s claim that the investigation has been corrupted because of Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe: The claim is misleading. He seems to be referring to money Andrew McCabe’s wife Jill who got political contributions from groups that are linked to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who is friends with the Clintons. So when he said, “Hillary Clinton and her representatives”
Speaking today at a news conference, President Trump addressed the events. Asked about Sessions’ uncertain future, he simply said: “We’ll see, time will tell.”
Pence stands behind Trump on Sessions attacks
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said he stood behind President Donald Trump’s “candid” remarks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, while stressing that he and the president appreciate his good work at the Justice Department.
Pence praised the president for what he said was speaking openly to the American public, during an interview on Fox News.
The vice president said that Trump’s string of criticisms aimed at Sessions are not evidence that the attorney general’s work at the Department of Justice is unappreciated.
“One of the great things about this president is you always know where you stand,” Pence told Fox News during an interview airing Wednesday night. “He speaks candidly, he speaks openly, he’s expressed his disappointment [in Sessions].”
Pence added: “But that doesn’t mean that we don’t recognize the good work the Justice Department has been doing under the attorney general’s leadership.”
The vice president pointed to Session’s work on combating gang violence and illegal immigration, as well as his efforts to stop cities from operating as safe havens for undocumented immigrants, as examples of successes.
When asked about Sessions’ future, Pence echoed remarks by Trump, who said Tuesday that “time will tell” what will happen with the attorney general.
“We will see what happens in the future, but at least the American people know and every member of the cabinet can know that you will always know where you stand with President Trump,” Pence said.
President Donald Trump has formally nominated Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to serve as the State Department’s ambassador at large for international religious freedom.Brownback has served as Kansas governor since 2011. His name has been in the mix for the post for weeks before the White House announced his pick.
If confirmed, Brownback will serve effectively as the head of the Office of International Religous Freedom within the State Department. That office is charged with promoting religous freedom as a key objective of U.S. foreign policy, according to the State Department’s website. The office’s mission is to monitor “religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommend and implement policies in respective regions or countries, and develop programs to promote religious freedom.”
Before serving as governor, Brownback represented the state in Congress — first as a representative in 1995 and 1996, then as a senator from 1996 to 2011. While in the Senate, in particular, Brownback focused on religious freedom and helped shape the International Religious Freedom Act, which passed in 1998.
In Kansas, Brownback has proved to be a deeply unpopular governor, even in a bedrock conservative state. A recent survey by Morning Consult found he was the second-least popular governor in America, with only 25 percent of those surveyed approving of of his job performance, and a 63 percent disapproval rating.
Brownback’s nomination comes as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has tried — and struggled — to eliminate an array of envoy and ambassador-at-large positions as he reorganizes the State Department. Tillerson has left some envoy positions vacant, without nominees, as a way to force the issue, but the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set Thursday to consider legislation that will give lawmakers a greater say over how special envoy jobs are filled.
The position was last held by Rabbi David Saperstein, former director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center.
Morning Guide reads
- POLITICO Magazine: To America, It looks like chaos. For Trump, it’s just Tuesday.
- Washington Post: Trump tells Boy Scouts that sometimes when one door closes, another door opens in an unusual way
- WSJ: Why Jeff Sessions recused
- New York Times: The Real Civil War in the Democratic Party
That does it for us today, we’ll be back tomorrow.