In response to a question at Thursday’s White House press briefing, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that President Donald Trump “clearly has confidence” in Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Does the President have confidence in the Attorney General? Does he want the Attorney General to stay in his post?” came the first question of the Thursday briefing.
Sanders responded, “As the President said yesterday, he was disappointed in the Attorney General Sessions’ decision to recuse himself, but clearly he has confidence in him or he would not be the Attorney General.”
Questions followed regarding who the President thinks the AG serves and whether the President would like to see the AG resign.
Sanders stated, in part, that the AG serves at the pleasure of the President. She added, “I think you know this President well enough to know that if he wanted somebody to take an action, he would make that clear.”
She went on to state that the President is disappointed in Session’s decision, an apparent reference to Sessions recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
Several questions later, another reporter stated that he was trying to come at the question another way, “Why does the President have confidence in his attorney general? Maybe you can explain it that way.”
I believe that the Attorney General has made significant progress in terms of things like with MS-13. They’ve taken great action on that front. Certainly the front of immigration. He spoke today about some of the cyber security measures that they’re taking and I think those were great examples of successes they’ve had at the Department of Justice.
The line of questioning relates to excerpts of a New York Times interview with President Trump. In the interview the President stated that if he knew Sessions would recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 election, Trump would not have appointed Sessions as the Attorney General. “I would have picked somebody else,” said Trump.
Sessions held a press conference Thursday on DOJ efforts to combat cyber crime. During the announcement, Sessions responded to questions about Trump’s statement by saying that he would not step down from his post as U.S. Attorney General. He also said, “We in this Department of Justice will continue every single day to work hard to serve the national interest, and we wholeheartedly join in the priorities of President Trump.”