Hayes: Sessions 'Sent a Message' to Trump by Dining With Rosenstein

Javier Stokes
March 4, 2018

Trump asked: "Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse".

Sessions suggested Tuesday that the Justice Department's inspector general will evaluate whether prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents wrongly obtained a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor the communications of a onetime Trump campaign associate.

Sessions was firm but restrained in a statement, saying, "As long as I am attorney general, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and the Constitution".

Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation and not doing focusing more to investigate former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

For Sessions' one year anniversary of his confirmation as attorney general, his colleagues gave him a bulletproof vest, a person familiar with the matter told the Post.

Mueller's team, which is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, has questioned witnesses about Trump's private comments in late July and early August, around the time he issued a series of tweets belittling Sessions, according to the Post.

At the end of the day Wednesday, Sessions dined in Washington with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller's investigation.

"We believe the Department of Justice must adhere to the highest standards" in dealings with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, he said. Isn't the I.G.an Obama guy?' Trump continued.

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He then questioned whether the inspector general was holdover from the Obama era (he is - Michael E. Horowitz was sworn in as inspector general for the Justice Department in 2012) and later probed why Sessions would not "use Justice Department lawyers" instead.

It said Trump ordered White House staff at one point to get a resignation letter from Sessions.

Is Trump trying to embarrass Sessions into quitting? That supposedly started the process that eventually led to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential election - a probe Trump consistently labels a "WITCH HUNT!".

Sessions rarely stands up in public to criticism from his boss.

But Trump's broadside was a reminder that the president has been unhappy with his hand-picked attorney-general since Sessions recused himself nearly a year ago from a probe into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian interference in the 2016 election.

But Sessions is not personally loyal, at least not in the way Trump expects, and so the man who looked past Trump's erratic temperament when he made a decision to support him now routinely feels the brunt of it. The authority to fire Rosenstein, a move that could help the president fire Mueller, belongs to Sessions, not Trump.

"Sessions should have never recused himself", Trump said, "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".

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