In one of the more scandal-filled weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, a common (and somewhat quiet) theme emerged — the president’s recurring feud with his attorney general over the latter’s recusal from the Russia investigation.
According to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, this fourth public iteration of Trump’s fight with Jeff Sessions cannot be a coincidence.
As with most other Trump-related matters, this road to this fight leads to Russia — specifically, to Sessions’ “very convenient memory lapses” when it came to his meetings with Russian officials.
The first “round” took place in March, “when Jeff Sessions was found to have had contacts with Russians during the campaign, contacts he didn’t disclose, even under oath,” Maddow said. As a result, he recused himself from the then-fresh Russia investigation. Trump reportedly went “ballistic” when he heard this news.
The second was when special counsel Robert Mueller was hired in May. Trump publicly maligned Sessions then, and the attorney general even reportedly handed in a resignation letter — but Trump refused it. The third once again had to do with Sessions’ recusal, this time in July, at the height of the infamous Trump Tower meeting with the president’s family member staffers and Russians. At that time, he claimed he never would have hired the attorney general if he’d known he was going to recuse himself.
The most recent conflict, albeit somewhat quieter, took place as Trump lamented that he doesn’t have more control over the Justice Department’s investigations into whether or not he colluded with Russia.
“If [Trump] gets rid of Sessions, he’s going to put in somebody who will not be recused,” Maddow noted.
“If you think the Russia attack and the possibility that the Trump campaign is in on it is a serious national security matter for this country, what’s worse?” she mused. “Having an attorney general of the United States, a serving attorney general who is up to his neck in that scandal….or not having that attorney general who is up to his neck in that scandal?”
Watch her lay out her case below, via MSNBC.