Sessions Offered to Resign Amid Tensions with Trump

Angie Massey
June 7, 2017

Even though Sessions was handpicked by Trump, the former drew the president's ire when he chose to recuse himself from FBI's investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election, shortly after he was appointed the attorney general. The attorney general's suggestion that he might consider quitting was reported earlier by ABC News and confirmed by a person familiar who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity. Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores, who was with Sessions in Atlanta on Tuesday, declined to comment.

Trump is also upset by injunctions preventing his temporary travel ban from taking effect.

Trump ultimately refused Sessions' offer, which came just before Trump embarked on his first worldwide trip in late May, according to a person who regularly speaks with Sessions.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined during a White House press briefing Tuesday to say whether Trump has confidence in Sessions.

Then-FBI Director James Comey later disclosed publicly that the FBI was investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, and whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia on that effort. Trump fired Comey later that day.

Comey's secrecy, according to the Times, will likely come up during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. In a series of tweets, Trump called the new ban "politically correct", and said the Justice Department should seek a "much tougher version".

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Trump and Sessions share a similar world view on key issues, including crime and immigration. After Trump's unexpected victory, the Alabama senator was given his choice of cabinet positions.

Trump did not accept Sessions' offer, and is aware of the potential political fallout from another high-profile change following his firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in May, the stories report.

Before his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation, Sessions and Trump had a strong bond.

While the White House said Mr Comey's handling of the inquiry into defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails was the reason for his dismissal, Mr Trump has subsequently said Mr Comey "wasn't doing a good job" and was "a showboat".

Sessions has acknowledged that he met with Kislyak briefly along with other ambassadors at the Republican National Convention in July and in a longer private meeting in his Senate office in September. The official said they wanted to avoid a repeat of what happened when Kellyanne Conway said Trump had confidence in Flynn only to find out hours later that the national security adviser had been pushed out. But he has indicated that he will provide the details should he be asked by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is leading the Russian Federation probe, or by an investigative committee such as the Senate Intelligence Committee. Rosenstein is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee about US surveillance programs.

Other reports by GizPress

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