President Donald Trump has reportedly discussed with White House advisers firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a story from the Associated Press.
Trump, who has seemed to grow increasing angry with Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, referred to Sessions as “beleaguered” in a tweet on Monday.
"So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?" Trump tweeted Monday. His tweet came just hours before his son-in-law, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, traveled to Capitol Hill to be interviewed about his meetings with Russians.
The AP reported that three people close to the president said that Trump had spoken about the potential consequences of firing Sessions.
Last week, Trump said in an interview with The New York Times that he would not have chosen Session as his attorney general if he had known that the former Alabama senator was going to recuse himself from the Russian investigation.
Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, suggested in an interview with CNN on Monday that Trump and Sessions need to "to sit down face to face and have a reconciliation and a discussion of the future.”
How did Sessions get to this point? Here’s a look at Sessions’ relationship with Trump.
February 28, 2016: Sessions endorses Trump for president during a rally in Mobile, Alabama. He is the first sitting U.S. senator to do so in the 2016 campaign.
March 3, 2016: Three days later, Sessions is named as chairman of Trump’s National Security Advisory Committee.
April 27, 2016: Sessions attends a speech by Trump at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. Former FBI Director James Comey reportedly told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in a classified meeting that U.S. intelligence agencies picked up communications between Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak and Russian officials that suggested he and Sessions met at the event. Sessions said he was in the same room as Kislyak during the event, but did not meet with him.
July 18, 2016: Sessions speaks at a Heritage Foundation event held in Cincinnati during the Republican National Convention. After the speech, Sessions said he briefly spoke to a small group that included Kislyak. a public event attended by a number of ambassadors.
September 8, 2016: Sessions has an official meeting in his Capitol Hill office with Kislyak. Sessions would later testify that the meeting was also attended by staff members and that it was not unusual for U.S. senators to meet with officials from other governments. A Department of Justice statement issued after Sessions became attorney general noted that as head of the Armed Services Committee Sessions had met or spoken 25 times to foreign ambassadors in 2016.
November 8, 2016: Donald Trump is elected the 45th president of the United States.
November 18, 2016: Ten days later, Trump announces that he is nominating Sessions to be the next U.S. attorney general.
January 10, 2017: During his first day of confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions is asked if anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign ever met with Russian officials. Sessions says, “I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn't have -- did not have communications with the Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it." Sessions did not disclose the meetings with Kislyak, nor did he include the meetings on his security clearance form. He would later say the meetings he had with Kislyak were held in his capacity as a U.S. senator, not as a member of Trump’s campaign team.
January 17, 2017: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), asks Sessions in a written questionnaire whether he had been “in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after Election Day.” Sessions says, “No” he has not meet with anyone.
February 8, 2017: After 30 hours of debate, Sessions is confirmed as attorney general by a 52-47 vote.
February 9, 2017: Sessions is sworn in as attorney general.
March 1, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Sessions met with Kislyak twice in 2016.
March 2, 2017: Sessions says, "I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign and those remarks are unbelievable to me and false and I don't have anything else to say about that.” Later that day during a press conference Sessions said he had met with "relevant senior career department officials" to discuss whether he should recuse himself from the growing Senate investigation into whether anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 election. He said, "having concluded those meetings today, I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States."
May 9, 2017: Trump fires FBI Director Comey, saying he did so on the recommendation of Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general.
June 6, 2017: Sessions offers to resign, according to media reports. Trump rejects his offer.
June 13, 2017: Sessions testifies in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Comey’s firing. "I have never met with, or had any conversation with, any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States," Sessions says. "Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign.” Sessions went on to say, "I have no knowledge about this investigation as it is ongoing today beyond what has been publicly reported.” Sessions said he recused himself from the investigation “not because of any asserted wrongdoing or any belief that I may have been involved in any wrongdoing in the campaign, but because a Department of Justice regulation… required it.”
July 19, 2017: Trump tells The New York Times, "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.” He went on to say, "So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have — which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself. I then end up with a second man, who’s a deputy (Rosenstein)," Trump said.
July 20, 2017: Asked whether he would resign his job, Sessions said he would continue to serve as attorney general "as long as that is appropriate."
"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. I have the honor of serving as attorney general, it's something that goes beyond any thought I would have ever had for myself. We love this job, we love this department, and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate," he said.
July 24, 2017: Trump tweets that Sessions is "beleaguered,” and asked, "So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?"
July 25, 2017: Early Tuesday, Trump takes another swipe at Sessions tweeting, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”
Sources: The New York Times; The Associated Press; CNN; Twitter; ABC News
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