(CNN)Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham wants President Donald Trump to back off Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Graham argues it's 'inappropriate' for Trump to attack Sessions
"I think (Sessions) removed himself appropriately from all things Russia and 2016, so when the President beats on Jeff Sessions, I think it's inappropriate 'cause he doesn't have the ability to make these decisions," Graham told CNN in an interview Thursday on Capitol Hill.
Graham's remarks come a day after Trump chastised Sessions via Twitter, reviving a public spat with his top law enforcement official.
Sessions announced Tuesday that the Justice Department inspector general would look into whether the FBI abused its surveillance authority in seeking a warrant to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, allegations that were first raised in House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes' memo released in February.
"Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn't the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!" Trump wrote Wednesday.
Graham also argued that Thursday it's not appropriate for Sessions to oversee the investigation because of his involvement in Trump's campaign during the 2016 election.
"Jeff is doing what he should do -- recuse himself," Graham said.
Sessions' decision to step away from the Justice Department's Russia investigation last March was the catalyst in Trump's continuous attacks toward him.
During the first six months of his presidency, Trump had at one point asked for Sessions' resignation but later declined to accept his attorney general's resignation letter.
Graham said Thursday that he hopes Sessions "would continue in the job because I'd hate to find a replacement for him."
He added, "But, if you want to blow up the Senate, try to find an attorney general to replace Jeff Sessions under these circumstances."
Graham has come to Sessions' defense in previous times after Trump has battered his attorney general.
When Trump referred to Sessions in July as "beleaguered" and criticized him for not investigating Hillary Clinton, Graham had said he was "100% behind" Sessions and there would be "holy hell to pay" if Sessions is fired.
"This effort to basically marginalize and humiliate the attorney general is not going over well in the Senate," Graham told CNN at the time.