Spicer Won't Say Whether Trump Has Confidence in Sessions - NBC Connecticut
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first year as president

Spicer Won't Say Whether Trump Has Confidence in Sessions

The New York Times reported that the president has "grown sour" on Sessions

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    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from a federal investigation into Russia's possible interference in the 2016 presidential election on a Thursday press conference. He said his meetings with Russia Ambassador Sergey I. Kislayh in 2016 was not about the Trump campaign, but that he will take the advice of his staff to recuse himself. (Published Thursday, March 2, 2017)

    With the president's frustrations with his Justice Department spilling into public view, top White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined to say Tuesday whether President Donald Trump has confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    "I have not had that discussion with him," Spicer told reporters during a White House briefing, adding: "if I haven't had a discussion with him about a subject, I tend not to speak about it."

    Trump has been angry with Sessions, one of his most vocal and earliest supporters, ever since Sessions recused himself in March from the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections between Moscow and Trump campaign aides.

    The decision was prompted by Sessions' failure to disclose conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States during his confirmation hearing.

    Dem Lawmakers Call for Resignation of AG Sessions

    [NATL] Democratic Lawmakers Call for Resignation of AG Sessions Over Alleged Russian Interference

     Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer became the latest lawmaker to call for the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Sessions recused himself from any federal investigations involving Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.

    (Published Friday, March 3, 2017)

    Trump told people at the time that he worried the decision would be seen as an admission of defeat — and has continued to express frustrations with the Justice Department's actions.

    On Monday, he took to Twitter to publicly criticize the department's legal strategy in defending his proposed travel ban barring the entry of people from certain Muslim-majority countries into the United States. The ban and a second version written to better withstand legal scrutiny have been held up in court.

    "The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.," Trump tweeted Monday, ignoring the fact that he oversees the department and signed the second version of the ban.

    "The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court - & seek much tougher version!" he added.

    Trump has denied any collusion with Russia, deriding the story as a "witch hunt" and "fake news" invented to explain away the Democrats' loss in November.

    The New York Times reported Monday that Trump partially blames Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the investigation for the eventual appointment of a special counsel.

    Sessions Defends Instruction to Implement Tougher Sentences

    [NATL] Sessions Defends Instruction to Implement Tougher Sentences

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions says his directive that prosecutors should charge suspects with the most serious crimes is a "key part of President Trump's promise to keep America safe."

    Sessions says drugs and violence go hand-in-hand. His memo tells prosecutors to charge steeper crimes that would trigger long, mandatory minimum prison sentences.

    “We are returning to the enforcement of the laws as passed by Congress, plain and simple,” Sessions said. “If you are a drug trafficker, we will not look the other way, we will not be willfully blind to your misconduct.

    The policy reverses Obama-era attempts to ease federal prison overcrowding and show lenience to lower-level, nonviolent drug offenders. Critics say the Sessions approach is a return to failed drug war policies that disproportionately hurt minority communities.

    (Published Friday, May 12, 2017)