Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jeff Sessions Won't Resign

I've been ignoring the "breaking" New York Times coverage on Trump's Russia ties, including the big story that went live last night and was trending this morning, "In Interview, Trump Expresses Anger at Sessions and Comey, and Warns Mueller." (Safe link.)

Still, the news had some impact.

Here's this, at Politico, "Sessions won't resign for now, but gets Trump's message":
The president's decision to criticize his attorney general to the New York Times was intended to communicate his lingering fury over Sessions' recusal from the Russia probes, said people close to the president.

President Donald Trump’s broadside against Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a New York Times interview this week was no careless accident or slip of the tongue.

Instead, the president was sending a message, said a Trump adviser who talked with him after the interview — making a deliberate effort to convey his lingering displeasure with his attorney general, who recused himself in March from the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“He didn’t just do that randomly,” the adviser said of the president. “There was a certain thinking behind it.”

Precisely what Trump expected Sessions to do in response remains unclear. Sessions said Thursday that he intends to remain in his position for the time being. “I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate,” Sessions said at a Department of Justice news conference. “We’re serving right now. What we’re doing today is the kind of work that we intend to continue.”

One person close to Sessions said he has no interest in resigning, although he previously offered to do so in late May, following several outbursts by Trump over his recusal.

While the resignation attempt was previously reported, this person told POLITICO that Trump had demanded that Sessions submit a resignation letter. By the time Sessions did so the following day, Trump had cooled down and rejected the offer.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the episode.

In the interview Wednesday with the Times, Trump suggested he would have picked someone else to run the Justice Department had he known Sessions was going to remove himself from oversight of the Russia probe, which has expanded to include contacts between Kremlin-connected operatives and Trump aides and family members...