Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a rare statement on the very public insult from President Trump Wednesday criticizing his actions at the Department of Justice.
Here’s what Sessions said
Sessions released a short statement defending his actions.
“As long as I am the attorney general,” the statement read, “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 Constitution.”
Here’s what Sessions was responding to
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse[?]” asked Trump in a tweet. “Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc.”
“Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy?” he continued. “Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!”
Inspector general Michael E. Horowitz does not have prosecutorial power on his own, but he can make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice.
A feud rekindled
Trump’s tweet rekindles a feud that had many believing he was on the verge of firing the attorney general, who was one of his most stalwart and earliest supporters. Trump’s critique of Sessions has centered around his decision to recuse himself from the investigations into Russian election interference and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign.
Sessions has said that his presence on the Trump transition team forced him to recuse himself from any investigation into the team’s actions, but Trump has angrily disagreed.
One report said that Trump has openly criticized the attorney general in the presence of other officials, and that the rancor caused Sessions to offer to resign.