On Tuesday night, The New York Times broke the startling news that President Donald Trump tried to get Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “unrecuse” himself in March 2017 from the Russia investigation, an act that might constitute an attempt at obstructing justice. Before making the request, Trump had punished Sessions by giving him the silent treatment for two days as the Attorney General haplessly tried to talk to the president about the administration’s efforts to implement a travel ban.
“When they met, Mr. Trump was ready to talk — but not about the travel ban,” the Times reports. “His grievance was with Mr. Sessions: The president objected to his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Mr. Trump, who had told aides that he needed a loyalist overseeing the inquiry, berated Mr. Sessions and told him he should reverse his decision, an unusual and potentially inappropriate request.”
Interviewed by CBS This Morning on Wednesday, South Carolina Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy tried to put a good face on Trump’s actions. “I would be frustrated, too,” Gowdy said. “There are lots of really good lawyers in the country, he could have picked somebody else!” Trump quoted these words and added his own twist:
When a member of the cabinet loses the confidence of the president, they usually either resign or are fired. But neither possibility is likely right now: Sessions shows no signs of leaving, possibly in fear that if he goes Trump will quash the Russia investigation. Conversely, Trump, possibly fearing that he wouldn’t be able to get a new attorney general confirmed, isn’t prepared to fire Sessions. So Trump and Sessions are stuck with each other and America is stuck with both.