Ryan Shrugs Off Possibility Trump Could Fire Sessions: ‘That’s His Prerogative’

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., listens during a news conference with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, following a closed-door meeting with the GOP caucus at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Pence and Ryan promised repeal of President Obama’s health care law now that the GOP is in charge of White House and Congress.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday declined to criticize President Donald Trump for lashing out at his attorney general when asked about the chance that Trump could fire Jeff Sessions as head of the Justice Department.

“The President gets to decide what his personnel is, you all know that. He is the executive branch,” Ryan said when asked if he was concerned that Trump could fire Sessions and appoint a new attorney general, who could in turn fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

“He determines who is hired and fired in the executive branch. That’s his prerogative,” Ryan continued. “If he has concerns or questions or problems with the attorney general, I’m sure he will bring them up with him himself.”

Asked if it would amount to obstruction of justice for Trump to fire the attorney general over his frustration that Sessions had recused himself from the Russia probe, Ryan similarly demurred.

“It’s up to the President to decide what his personnel decisions is [sic] and any possible thought that comes from that,” he said. “If he has concerns about anyone in the administration, their conduct or their jobs, I’m sure he is going to talk to them directly.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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