Buchanan, Coulter, Other Voices of the Right Cry Out in Dismay as Trump Steps Up Attacks on Sessions

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

President Donald Trump continued criticizing his own Attorney General Tuesday as support for Jeff Sessions poured in from across the political right.

“I’m very disappointed in Jeff Sessions,” President Trump told the Wall Street Journal, apparently referring to the decision by Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation back in March.

The President told the New York Times on Wednesday that he would not have nominated Sessions if he knew in advance he would have recused himself, setting off what has become nearly a week of speculation about Sessions’s future with the administration.

Later, the President continued on the same lines in an afternoon press briefing in the White House Rose Garden. “I think that’s a bad thing, not for the President but for the presidency,” he said. “I think it’s unfair to the presidency, and that’s the way I feel.”

When it came to the ultimate question of whether he wanted Sessions out at DOJ, Trump equivocated, telling reporters, “We’ll see what happens. Time will tell.”

Both statements came after the President again took to Twitter Tuesday morning to berate his attorney general for not being more aggressive in investigating alleged crimes by Hillary Clinton, leakers within the administration, and allegations of Ukrainian intelligence agencies working to hurt the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

Sessions, in fact, made it known, months before he took office, that he would not play a role in any investigation of Hillary Clinton and would leave such investigation to others. “I believe that would be the best approach for the country, because we can never have a political dispute turn into a criminal dispute, in any way that would suggest anything other than absolute objectivity,” Sessions said in January. “This country does not punish its political enemies, but this country ensures no one is above the law.”

This stance, from which Sessions has never publicly deviated, closely mirrored President Trump’s own contemporary statements on the matter. “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t,” Trump said in November. “She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways, and I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious.”

Perhaps most gallingly for Sessions confidants, who were already reportedly up in arms over Trump’s treatment of the Attorney General, the president continued his interview with the Wall Street Journal by questioning Sessions’s motives in becoming the first and only sitting U.S. Senator to endorse him before his nomination was in hand and dismissing the idea it demonstrated loyalty to the then-nascent MAGA Movement. “When they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama,” he told WSJ, continuing:

I had 40,000 people. He was a senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, “What do I have to lose?” And he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement. I’m very disappointed in Jeff Sessions. (Emphasis added)

Other accounts of Sessions’s decision to appear in a MAGA hat in the summer of 2015 and later to formally endorse Trump for President paint a different picture, one of the four-term Alabama Senator putting his political future on the line, standing by Trump in the darkest moments of the campaign, and playing an integral role in engineering the greatest presidential upset in living memory.

Lifezette reported Tuesday that White House insiders are chattering that Trump’s attacks may well be leading to a decision to dismiss Sessions. But as the President’s rhetoric on Sessions darkened, an outpouring of support came for the Attorney General, whom Trump on Monday described as “beleaguered,” from a wide swath of the political right.

“Sessions is a man of character, courage, and loyalty, and deserves far better than the manner in which he is being treated,” bestselling author and conservative icon Pat Buchanan told Breitbart News exclusively Tuesday.

Buchanan’s thoughts were echoed by those in the legal and legislative communities where Sessions made his name.

“Attorney General Sessions  is a man of sound judgment and wisdom who puts the interests of the United States first and foremost. There is no finer public servant and no one in Washington has more honor and integrity. We’re fortunate to have someone like him in the federal government,” Peter Kirsanow, a prominent Washington conservative attorney who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during Sessions’s confirmation, told Breitbart News.

McClatchy’s Washington bureau cited several of Sessions’s former Senate colleagues who were aghast at the apparent machinations against him. Fellow Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby told Fox News Sessions has been loyal to Trump “to a fault” and that his firing “would not be taken lightly.”

“I’m 100 percent for the President, but I really have a hard time with this,” said arch-conservative Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

“Attorney General Sessions has been a friend for years and he was a friend to the President before anyone. He’s the most loyal, affable, respectable man you could ever have in that position,” insurgent Republican Congressman David Brat (R-VA) said on Tuesday’s The Larry O’Connor Show.

Longtime border hawks too were confused by Trump’s moves relative to Sessions. “Why would you sacrifice a stellar AG?” asked anti-illegal immigration icon Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) one of the nation’s most prominent patriotic immigration reform non-profits, both defended Sessions in an op-ed titled, “Mr. President, Do Your Job and Let Jeff Sessions Do His” and took to Twitter to ask the president to let up on the Attorney General, one of the only consistent allies groups like FAIR had in the Senate for years:

Meanwhile, conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter took issue with the entire premise of Trump’s criticism, humorously shifting the president’s implied blame for the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel from Sessions to Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner:

Also with strong statements in support of Sessions were the National Sheriff’s Association, the Family Research Council, and Radio Host Rush Limbaugh.

Sessions himself, after a series of statements at the end of last week in which he expressed his honor to serve as Attorney General and his desire to continue doing so, has scheduled no public appearances this week and has not formally responded to the President’s comments or the surrounding controversy. On Tuesday, Sessions moved ahead with plans to curtail “Byrne Grants” to so-called “sanctuary cities,” an initiative long in the works despite ongoing entanglements in the courts.


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