Everyone knew President Donald Trump wasn’t happy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the FBI investigation into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 election. No one – until this week – knew just how unhappy he was.
“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump told three New York Times reporters on Wednesday in an interview at the White House. Trump added that Sessions’ decision, on which he was not consulted, was “extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the President.”
That’s a stunning vote of not-much-confidence from Trump in a man who was one of his top surrogates during the 2016 campaign and one of his fiercest defenders in the early days of the presidency. What Trump told the Times, in short, was: Had I known what I know now, I would have never have given Sessions the AG job.
The next day, as fate would have it, Sessions was scheduled to talk to reporters, which is super awkward when your boss has said he wasn’t and isn’t happy with you and that he never would have hired you if he knew how things were going to play out.
“We love this job,” Sessions, seemingly unbowed by Trump’s smackdown, said. “We love this department, and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate.”
As if being called out by your boss, who also happens to be the President of the United States, isn’t bad enough for a week, Sessions took another gut punch on Friday night.
The Washington Post reported that Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak told Russian officials that he and Sessions discussed matters related not only to the 2016 presidential campaign but also US policy toward Russia in their meetings last year.
Sessions initially didn’t disclose those meetings at all during his confirmation hearings to be attorney general and then, once he did disclose them, said the conversations had nothing to do with the Trump campaign.
“Obviously I cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept that the Washington Post has not seen and that has not been provided to me,” a Justice Department spokeswoman told the Post.
As a sort of rancid cherry on the top of Sessions’ week came this tweet on Saturday morning from Trump himself: “So many people are asking why isn’t the A.G. or Special Council looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 e-mails deleted?”
The “A.G.”, of course, is Sessions. (Sidebar: It’s spelled “Special Counsel.”)
The best thing you can say about Sessions at the end of this week is that he still has a job. But you have to wonder how much longer he’ll even be able to say that.
Jeff Sessions, for learning – from the media! – that the President would rather you not be in your job, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.