President Donald Trump publicly criticized his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, again on Saturday, saying this time that Sessions doesn’t understand what’s happening beneath him at the Department of Justice.
“Jeff Sessions said he wouldn’t allow politics to influence him only because he doesn’t understand what is happening underneath his command position,” Trump tweeted. “Highly conflicted Bob Mueller and his gang of 17 Angry Dems are having a field day as real corruption goes untouched. No Collusion!”
Trump has frequently criticized Sessions over the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. The President reinitiated his feud with Sessions in interview with Fox News that aired Thursday, saying that Sessions “never took control” of the Justice Department.
Sessions, in a rare, strongly worded statement, said after Trump’s interview aired, “While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”
“I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President’s agenda,” Sessions continued.
Trump’s recent ramp up of criticism against his attorney general comes after his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of both tax fraud and bank fraud, and Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, effectively implicating the President, and other charges.
Over the past year and a half, and as recently as the last several weeks, Trump has broached the idea of firing Sessions several times, according to multiple sources familiar with the conversations. Each time his aides and advisers have staved off his impulse, arguing to the President that such a move could damage him politically and present further problems with special counsel Robert Mueller.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi, Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.