US President Donald Trump applauds after addressing supporters at a Faith and Freedom Coalition event in Washington DC on June 08, 2017.
President Donald Trump avoided directly responding to explosive accusations made by his ex-FBI director Thursday, but sought to rally supporters behind a message of defiance. "We are going to fight and win" Trump said, addressing supporters at a Faith and Freedom Coalition event in the capital.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) delivers remarks during the daily White House press briefing March 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions announced new actions against sanctuary cities that seek Justice Department grants during his surprise appearance. Also pictured is White House press secretary Sean Spicer
PHOTO: Getty Images
US President Donald Trump applauds after addressing supporters at a Faith and Freedom Coalition event in Washington DC on June 08, 2017. President Donald Trump avoided directly responding to explosive accusations made by his ex-FBI director Thursday, but sought to rally supporters behind a message of defiance. "We are going to fight and win" Trump said, addressing supporters at a Faith and Freedom Coalition event in the capital. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) delivers remarks during the daily White House press briefing March 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions announced new actions against sanctuary cities that seek Justice Department grants during his surprise appearance. Also pictured is White House press secretary Sean Spicer
Now playing
01:16
Trump scolds Sessions in NYT interview
PHOTO: MyHeritage
Now playing
01:01
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: CNN/Getty Images
Now playing
06:46
McEnany says she expected 'peaceful' rally on January 6. Keilar rolls the tape
Now playing
01:26
No, Tom Cruise isn't on TikTok. It's a deepfake
PHOTO: ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live
Now playing
02:02
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall reunite in 'Coming 2 America'
PHOTO: Courtesy AirlingRatings.com
Now playing
03:06
Virgin Atlantic CEO: We support Covid vaccine passports
Now playing
01:19
Warren proposes wealth tax: 'It's time for them to pay a fair share'
Now playing
01:43
Marriott CEO: Vaccinations are 'the key' to travel recovery
Now playing
01:23
'There should be no threats': Biden's message to union-busters
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
PHOTO: CNN
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
Now playing
07:40
Former QAnon believer shares bonkers conspiracy theory about Biden
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
Now playing
01:24
'SNL' has 'Dr. Fauci' helping people get vaccinated

Story highlights

Trump slammed Sessions as well as the investigation into potential coordination between his associates and Russia

He said it would be wrong for Mueller to look at his family's finances

(CNN) —  

President Donald Trump said in an interview published Wednesday that he would not have chosen Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself over matters related to the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump’s remarks, in a 50-minute interview with The New York Times, represent an extraordinary rebuke from the President toward the nation’s top law enforcement official who happens to be one of his earliest political allies.

“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the President,” Trump said, referring to himself. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair – and that’s a mild word – to the President.”

Before Trump had a lock on the Republican nomination last year, Sessions became the first sitting senator to back the real estate mogul’s presidential bid.

01:01 - Source: CNN Business
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: MyHeritage
Now playing
01:01
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: CNN/Getty Images
Now playing
06:46
McEnany says she expected 'peaceful' rally on January 6. Keilar rolls the tape
Now playing
01:26
No, Tom Cruise isn't on TikTok. It's a deepfake
PHOTO: ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live
Now playing
02:02
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall reunite in 'Coming 2 America'
PHOTO: Courtesy AirlingRatings.com
Now playing
03:06
Virgin Atlantic CEO: We support Covid vaccine passports
Now playing
01:19
Warren proposes wealth tax: 'It's time for them to pay a fair share'
Now playing
01:43
Marriott CEO: Vaccinations are 'the key' to travel recovery
Now playing
01:23
'There should be no threats': Biden's message to union-busters
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
PHOTO: CNN
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
Now playing
07:40
Former QAnon believer shares bonkers conspiracy theory about Biden
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
Now playing
01:24
'SNL' has 'Dr. Fauci' helping people get vaccinated
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017.
PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017.
Now playing
02:10
Sessions' testimony in 2 minutes
PHOTO: MyHeritage
Now playing
01:01
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: CNN/Getty Images
Now playing
06:46
McEnany says she expected 'peaceful' rally on January 6. Keilar rolls the tape
Now playing
01:26
No, Tom Cruise isn't on TikTok. It's a deepfake
PHOTO: ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live
Now playing
02:02
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall reunite in 'Coming 2 America'
PHOTO: Courtesy AirlingRatings.com
Now playing
03:06
Virgin Atlantic CEO: We support Covid vaccine passports
Now playing
01:19
Warren proposes wealth tax: 'It's time for them to pay a fair share'
Now playing
01:43
Marriott CEO: Vaccinations are 'the key' to travel recovery
Now playing
01:23
'There should be no threats': Biden's message to union-busters
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
PHOTO: CNN
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
Now playing
07:40
Former QAnon believer shares bonkers conspiracy theory about Biden
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
Now playing
01:24
'SNL' has 'Dr. Fauci' helping people get vaccinated

But several months into the job, Trump’s warm feelings for Sessions have clearly cooled. In the interview, Trump scolded Sessions for telling the Senate judiciary committee that he had not met with any Russians during the campaign. It was later revealed he had met with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US, at least two times.

Sessions later amended his testimony.

“Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers,” the President said. “He gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren’t.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment to CNN about the President’s remarks regarding Sessions. But a source familiar with his thinking said Sessions has no intention of stepping down as attorney general in the wake of Trump’s comments.

Trump also asserted that former FBI Director James Comey had presented him with a dossier containing a number of allegations about himself and Russia prior to his inauguration as a way to have leverage over him.

“In my opinion, he shared it so that I would think he had it out there,” Trump said.

The dossier included a wide range of allegations, including salacious and unproven ones about Trump. CNN reported in February that investigators had corroborated some points in the dossier, but not the salacious details. In the interview, Trump said he had immediately written it off as false.

“When he brought it to me, I said this is really made-up junk,” Trump said. “I didn’t think about any of it. I just thought about man, this is such a phony deal.”

Trump said he had done the country a “great service” by firing Comey.

Investigating family’s finances ‘a violation’

Trump had harsh words for the Justice Department investigation into potential coordination between his associates and Russia to influence the 2016 election, suggesting the probe was unfair due to conflicts of interest.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein selected former FBI Director Robert Mueller to take over the investigation as special counsel after Trump fired Comey.

Trump suggested it would be wrong for Mueller to investigate his family’s finances. The Times reported that when asked if that would be a red line, Trump responded in the affirmative, but would not say what action, if any, he would take.

“I think that’s a violation,” Trump said. “Look, this is about Russia.”

01:01 - Source: CNN Business
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: MyHeritage
Now playing
01:01
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: CNN/Getty Images
Now playing
06:46
McEnany says she expected 'peaceful' rally on January 6. Keilar rolls the tape
Now playing
01:26
No, Tom Cruise isn't on TikTo