For Second Day, White House Won’t Say Sessions Has Trump’s Confidence

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, right, accompanied by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, left, talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House, Monday, March 27, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP

The White House on Wednesday refused again to say whether the attorney general had the confidence of the President.

“I haven’t had a chance to have an extensive conversation with him today, but I certainly plan to ask him that,” deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, asked about Trump’s confidence in Sessions.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer similarly refused to say whether Sessions had Trump’s confidence, an ominous sign in light of reports that Trump is still fuming at Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 election.

The New York Times reported Monday that Trump tied Sessions’ recusal to Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel in charge of the investigation.

Several outlets corroborated the Times’ reporting. The President also lashed out at the Justice Department this week over his revised travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries, which is currently tied up in court.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, ABC News reported Tuesday night that the tension between Trump and Sessions had gotten so bad that Sessions at one point had offered to resign.

White House aide Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday that Trump “has confidence in the people who work for him” — though she expressed a similar sentiment about ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in February, just hours before Flynn was forced to resign.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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