Jeff Sessions hits back at Trump criticism

Sessions drew Trump's ire when he recused himself in March 2017 from issues involving the 2016 White House race

Trump has responded by insisting has the "absolute right" to fire Sessions if he pleases, those familiar with the conversations said. The inspector general is also investigating potential abuses in the early stages of the FBI's investigation into possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Trump reprised a litany of complaints about the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, attacking both without providing evidence they had treated him and his supporters unfairly.

"I put in an attorney general who never took control of the Justice Department", Trump told Fox.

"Jeff Sessions said he wouldn't allow politics to influence him only because he doesn't understand what is happening underneath his command position", he tweeted Saturday, before alleging that the result is that FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe is ignoring "real corruption".

Trump also said "the only reason I gave him the job is because I felt loyalty". Minutes later he was arriving at the White House in a black SUV for a previously scheduled meeting on prison legislation. Many people seem to be leaving - why is Jeff Sessions still around?

Federal prosecutors in NY and the White House declined to comment.

In a tweet on Saturday morning, Trump replied that Sessions "doesn't understand what is happening underneath his command position". "Come on Jeff, you can do it, the country is waiting!" he said. Trump has taken the opposite approach: making his displeasure known loudly while avoiding direct confrontation behind the scenes.

Graham also said each president has a right to choose their cabinet and make staff changes at any time, as cabinet members serve at the pleasure of the president.

In February 2016, Sessions was the first senator to endorse the outsider candidate.

U.S. President Donald Trump continued to tear into his attorney general Friday, telling Jeff Sessions to investigate his political opponents.

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Can a replacement be confirmed? And although he clashed with his colleagues in the Senate from time to time, he still has a lot of support in that chamber.

Cooperation with authorities by Pecker and Howard could further implicate Trump in connection with the payments, which prosecutors have said violated campaign finance laws. The line of succession after Engel, as of now (based upon which officials have been Senate confirmed), is Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers, followed by Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Brian Benczkowski, followed by the current US Attorneys for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Northern District of Texas.

But he added that forcing out Mr Sessions before November "would create havoc" with efforts to confirm Mr Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as well as with the mid-term elections on Nov 6 that will determine whether Republicans keep control of Congress.

But Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, who in March said firing Sessions would "blow up" the Judiciary Committee, has been shifting his tone.

"I'm not going to speculate on what the President might do. I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action", he said in a terse statement on Thursday.

Trump told Fox that Sessions should not have recused himself from Russia-related matters.

"The president is entitled to an attorney general he has faith in", Graham said on Thursday. Two people close to Sessions noted it was a reversal in tactic from when Trump first began assailing him past year.

For the time being, only Rosenstein now has the power to remove Mueller for "misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of (Justice) Departmental policies" under the special counsel regulations.

To be sure, Trump's enemies list is a long one.

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