White House still mum on Trump's confidence in Sessions

White House won't say if Trump backs Sessions
White House won't say if Trump backs Sessions

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White House won't say if Trump backs Sessions 00:57

Story highlights

  • Trump traveled to Ohio Wednesday
  • Fired FBI director James Comey will testify Thursday

(CNN)If Attorney General Jeff Sessions' future in the Trump administration is safe, the White House certainly isn't letting on.

The White House again on Wednesday refused to say whether President Donald Trump has confidence in his attorney general, the second consecutive day a top White House spokesperson has declined to provide that assurance, adding fuel to reports of a rift between Sessions and Trump.
Briefing reporters Wednesday aboard Air Force One, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she had yet to have an "extensive conversation" with Trump about the matter, but said she planned to ask him.
    Sanders' response mirrored that provided by White House press secretary Sean Spicer a day earlier in the White House briefing room, when he said he had not "had a discussion with (Trump) about that."
    Trump also ignored multiple shouted questions from reporters on the topic on Wednesday.
    The White House's ongoing silence on Wednesday on what should be a simple assurance about a sitting Cabinet secretary is all the more striking because it comes on the heels of reports that Sessions recently offered to resign amid tensions with Trump.
    Spicer previously refused to say whether the President had confidence in then-FBI Director James Comey hours before Trump suddenly fired him.
    The question was first posed to Spicer in the briefing room Tuesday after The New York Times reported that Sessions has been a target of the President's ire as the investigation into connections between Trump campaign associates and Russia has heated up following the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the matter.
    The appointment of a special counsel followed a chain reaction launched when Sessions bowed to political pressure and recused himself from involvement in the investigation, allowing the deputy attorney general to appoint Mueller.
    Both Sanders and Spicer have urged reporters not to read into their inability to convey Trump's confidence in his attorney general.
    "He's got a pretty busy schedule, being the leader of the free world does take a little bit of time so I just haven't had a chance to have that direct conversation with him," Sanders said on the return flight from Ohio.