The Slatest

Trump: “I Wish” I Had Picked Someone Other Than Sessions for Attorney General

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions cheer.
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions attend the 37th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service May 15 at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is making clear what we all already knew: He regrets his decision to pick Jeff Sessions as his attorney general. In a series of tweets in which he quoted Rep. Trey Gowdy from South Carolina, who had earlier said that Trump “could have picked somebody else,” Trump wrote, “I wish I did!”

Gowdy was talking to CBS News about a New York Times report that claimed Trump asked Sessions in March 2017 to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe.
Gowdy criticized Sessions for recusing himself and said Trump had lots of options to lead the Justice Department. Trump has long expressed frustration about Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after it was revealed that he met with the Russian ambassador twice during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“Trump, who had told aides that he needed a loyalist overseeing the inquiry, berated Mr.
Sessions and told him he should reverse his decision, an unusual and potentially inappropriate request,” the Times wrote. That request is now reportedly part of the obstruction of justice case that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating.

This was not the first time Trump expressed frustrations with Sessions’ recusal. In a July interview with the New York Times, Trump had said that he would have picked somebody else for the job if he had known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the investigation.

Although Trump quoted that portion of Gowdy’s interview approvingly, chances are he wasn’t a big fan of another portion of the lawmaker’s TV appearances. In an earlier apperarnce on Fox News, Gowdy said the FBI was justified in using a secret informant to get to the bottom of the Russia investigation.

“President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it, and it sounds to me like that is exactly what the FBI did,” Gowdy said on Fox News on Tuesday night. “I think when the president finds out what happened, he is going to be not just fine, he is going to be glad that we have an FBI that took seriously what they heard.” He repeated that message on CBS on Wednesday morning, refusing to criticize the FBI for what Trump has dubbed “spygate.” “When the FBI comes into contact with information about what a foreign government may be doing in our election cycle, I think they have an obligation to run it out,” Gowdy said.