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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Trump, Sessions headed for an all out war? President publicly humiliates his Attorney General

Jeff Sessions is facing one of his roughest weeks

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WASHINGTON, U.S. - Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing one of his roughest weeks on the job as President Trump’s top law enforcement official. 

After thrashing Sessions last week and going as far as declaring that he wouldn’t have appointed Sessions as the Attorney General if he had known that the Attorney General would recuse himself from the Russia probe - now U.S. President Donald Trump has publicly shamed the Attorney General, again.

More importantly, all the criticism has led to serious questions within the West Wing about whether the country’s administration was faced with yet another top official’s exit. 

Sessions, an Eagle Scout, was missing in action on a West Virginia stage as Trump spoke to a Boy Scout Jamboree on Monday evening didn’t go unnoticed and some of the President’s advisers have revealed that he might be considering a change.

On Monday, Trump attacked his Attorney General publicly days after a controversial shake-up in the communications department.

In a morning tweet, Trump labelled Sessions "beleaguered," and aides and advisers said Trump was considering whether to make a change.

According to sources quoted in reports, some potential choices like Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, who were once keen on the job have now grown concerned about working in this administration.

But finding another person for the job wouldn’t be the only problem in replacing Sessions.

The Senate would have to confirm any replacement pick.

According to one of Trump’s advisers, the President would see firing Sessions as a way to have more control over special counsel Bob Mueller, who he has decided he cannot fire — at least for now.

The president, who has, for long been frustrated with Sessions for recusing from the investigation into Russia’s activities during the 2016 election, has now began to publicly express his anger - especially because both his son and his son-in-law have come under the radar of investigators. 

Rumours of top officials resigning comes at a time when the White House is troubled by a raging controversy related to the investigations into the Russian influence in the election and a possible collusion that has distracted the administration from its legislative agenda.

The string of leaks has also paved the way towards the failure of the party in presenting a united front amid the crisis.

According to a White House spokeswoman, Sessions was in the West Wing on Monday but didn’t meet Trump. 

Further, a report in Politico quoted the new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci as saying that the president remained upset. 

Ironically, Sessions was one of Trump’s first Capitol Hill supporters.

However, Scaramucci suggested the two men needed to have a serious conversation.

He said, “The president remains disappointed in some of the ways the attorney general has handled certain situations.”

Scaramucci added Sessions' fate would be up to the president and Sessions. 

After last week’s criticism, the Attorney General has said he intends to stay in the job. 

According to a longtime business associate, Trump rarely fires employees but prefers to make their jobs unpleasant, as he’s done with Sessions.

Louise Sunshine, a longtime executive in Trump’s real estate company said, “I worked with him for 16 years. I never saw him fire anybody. The issue about firing people only came when he went on the TV program ['The Apprentice’]. He would make it extremely clear you had made him angry, and you would go on his list. He would have a long memory and make your life miserable. Maybe it's easier if Jeff Sessions gets the message and resigns.”

On Twitter on Monday, Trump wondered why Sessions isn't digging into Hillary Clinton's alleged contacts with Russia.

Despite the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and questions as to whether his campaign colluded with foreign officials remaining his top concerns - Trump directed his ire on Sessions.

He tweeted, "So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?" 

When questioned by the media, he ignored reports and so far hasn’t made any official statements about the Attorney General and whether he, indeed, was considering a shake up. 

Last week, the Washington Post revealed that the Russian ambassador has said he and Sessions discussed the 2016 election campaign during two meetings last year. 

The revelations made in the report were in stark contrast to the multiple public comments made by Sessions in March this year - when he recused himself from oversight of the Russia investigation.

The report by Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller stated that Ambassador Sergey Kislyak's accounts of those meetings were intercepted by U.S. intelligence.

Those accounts reportedly reveal that he had suggested that the two men spoke substantively about campaign issues. 

However, on March 1, Sessions said that he “never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign.”

The following day, while announcing his recusal, he repeated, “I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign.”

The report pointed out that the revelation came as the second time Sessions' accounts of his meetings with Russians have been seriously called into question. 

Earlier this year, during his confirmation hearings, Sessions denied having met with any Russians during the campaign. 

After the Kislyak meetings were initially revealed, he had clarified that he thought the exchange was in the context of the campaign only. 

Soon after, he recused himself.

Trump, however, viewed Sessions’ decision as disloyalty and resented that the attorney general did not give the White House a proper heads-up before making the announcement.

According to Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the men have not spoken since the publication of the Times interview last week.

 

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