WASHINGTON (CN) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday promised he would not allow the Justice Department to be “improperly influenced by political considerations” after President Donald Trump swiped at him in an interview earlier in the day on Fox & Friends.
“While I am attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations,” Sessions said in a statement posted on Twitter. “I demand the highest standards and when they are not met I take action. However, no nation has a more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement investigators and prosecutors than the United States.”
In an interview aired earlier in the day on Fox & Friends, Trump revived his latent criticisms of Sessions, blasting the former Alabama senator and early Trump supporter for recusing himself from the Justice Department’s probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done, or he should have told me,” Trump told Fox & Friends’ Ainsley Earhardt. “Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in. He took the job and then he said I’m going to recuse myself. I said, what kind of a man is this?”
Trump also said he nominated Sessions because he showed loyalty during the campaign.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., signaled to reporters on Thursday it is possible Trump could oust Sessions “sooner rather than later,” according to Bloomberg.
“Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn’t have the confidence of the president,” Graham said.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., defended Sessions in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday, saying the attorney general has done his job in a way “faithful” to his oath of office.
“I’m not sure how to interpret the comments of the last couple of hours, but I guess I would just like to say as a member of the Judiciary Committee and as a member of this body I find it really difficult to envision any circumstance where I would vote to confirm a successor to Jeff Sessions if he is fired because he is executing his job rather than choosing to act as a partisan hack,” Sasse said.