As GOP members of Congress launch a unified defense of the attorney general after the President’s weeklong crusade against Jeff Sessions, Vice President Mike Pence backed up the President Wednesday, saying Donald Trump “has been very candid.”
“He was disappointed with the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself and to not know about his intension to do so before he was confirmed as the attorney general of the United States,” Pence said, appearing on Fox News with Tucker Carlson Wednesday night. “The Washington way is to talk behind people’s backs. But that’s not President Donald Trump’s approach. One of the great things about this President is you will always know where you stand.”
The vice president’s comments come after a full week of Trump publicly shaming the attorney general, which started when he told the New York Times last Wednesday that he wouldn’t have hired Sessions if he had known Sessions would recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Trump has lashed out at Sessions on Twitter almost every day since then, calling him “beleaguered” and “weak” for not doing more to investigate his former presidential opponent Hillary Clinton and calling him out for not replacing acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe because of his supposed conflicts of interest.
Sessions has spoken out once on the attacks, saying he will stay in his position as long as its “appropriate.”
Pence said the President’s criticism doesn’t mean he doesn’t recognize the “good work the Justice Department has been doing under the attorney general’s leadership.”
“I think one of the President’s virtues is his candor. … People know we have a president who says what he means and means what he says. There’s no attempt to hide his feelings. His expressed disappointment here is very sincere and we will see what happens in the future, but at least the American people know and every member of the cabinet can know that you will always know where you stand with President Trump.”