Rep. Gowdy Gets Trump’s Frustration With Sessions; Sen. Graham Says Lay Off

By Susan Jones | July 25, 2017 | 11:32am EDT
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) says he understands President Trump's frustrations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions need to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. (Screen grab from Fox News)

( - President Trump's tweets criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions "are not helpful for long-term employment, but that's between him and the president," Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told Fox News on Tuesday.

“I think Jeff Sessions made the right decision in recusing himself and I also understand the president's frustration at the decision and actions that Attorney General Sessions-- that led to him having to recuse himself. That's where my focus is," Gowdy said.

“The president is frustrated that he picked an attorney general that had to recuse himself. The recusal was based on the attorney general’s failure to recall some meetings...The recusal was appropriate, but I do understand the president's frustration – ‘I wish you had told me this when you were interviewing for the job, perhaps I would have picked someone else.’ That’s not an unfair thing to muse about,” Gowdy said.

But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) take a different view of President Trump’s apparent desire to force Sessions out of his job.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Graham said:

Jeff Sessions is one of the most decent people I’ve ever met in my political life. Jeff Session is a rock-solid conservative, but above else he believes in the Rule of Law. He understands we are a nation of laws, not men.  On occasion, I’ve vigorously disagreed with Jeff but I’ve never once doubted his integrity or sense of fair play. President Trump’s tweet today suggesting Attorney General Sessions pursue prosecution of a former political rival is highly inappropriate. Prosecutorial decisions should be based on applying facts to the law without hint of political motivation. To do otherwise is to run away from the long-standing American tradition of separating the law from politics regardless of party.

As reported, Trump on Tuesday issued two tweets dealing with the man who was one of Trump’s earliest and staunchest supporters:

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!" Trump tweeted early Tuesday morning.

And minutes before that: "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign - "quietly working to boost Clinton." So where is the investigation A.G. @seanhannity"

(On his television show Monday night, Fox News's Sean Hannity and his guests discussed the FBI's failure to investigate the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One deal.)

On Monday, President Trump described his attorney general as "beleaguered." But that’s only because President Trump criticized Sessions in an interview with The New York Times last week, saying he never would have made him attorney general if he'd known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Sessions so far has given no indication that he plans to step down voluntarily.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) called Sesssions "a good and honorable man" on Tuesday.

"And I think he’s doing what he believes he’s obligated to do under the rules that govern Attorney Generals and that, in order to restore the credibility of the Department of Justice and the FBI, something we sorely need after the last Administration, that he made the right decision to recuse himself," Cornyn told CNN.

"I think in order to maintain the impression of impartiality, which is so important to building public confidence, that I think Jeff Sessions did the right thing.”

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