In an interview that aired on Sunday, President Donald Trump told “Meet the Press” that his biggest regret is choosing Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general.
“If you could have one do-over as president, what would it be?” NBC host Chuck Todd asked Trump during their interview.
This article first appeared at Salon.com.
After the president replied that his do over would involve “personnel,” he elaborated that “I would say if I had one do over, it would be, I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be attorney general.” When Todd asked Trump to clarify if he thought appointing Sessions was his “worst mistake,” the president reiterated “yeah, that was the biggest mistake.” He added that Sessions is “very talented” but was cut off by a new line of questioning from Todd before he could elaborate.
The NBC host asked if the current attorney general, Bill Barr, serves as Trump’s “Roy Cohn.” The president responded that “I had many, many lawyers. I mean, a lot of lawyers. Roy was one of them. He was a tough guy.” Trump avoided a question about whether Barr is “cut from the same cloth” as Cohn, instead saying that “Bill Barr is a very, he’s equally tough. He’s a fine man. He’s a fine man. The job he’s done is incredible. He’s brought sanity back. I think he’s real — I don’t think, I know, he’s respected. You know, he loves the Department of Justice. He saw what was happening. He has done a spectacular job. Now he’s in the process of doing something and I stay away from it. I really, I stay away from it. But I think he feels that what’s happened in this country was a very bad thing and very bad for our country.”
Roy Cohn was a notoriously unethical right-wing lawyer who became famous for advising Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisc., during the so-called “McCarthy era” of anti-Communist witch hunts. He later advised the future president on legal matters.
Trump used to have a close friendship with Sessions, who was one of the first major political figures to endorse Trump’s presidential campaign while Sessions was still a United States Senator from Alabama. The two men soured on each other after Trump disapproved of Sessions recusing himself from the Trump-Russia investigation when his own potential conflict of interest was brought to public attention.
Trump also talked to Todd about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been criticized by fellow Democrats including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for her reluctance to pursue impeachment against the president.
“Let me ask you this, why do you think Nancy Pelosi has held off her impeachment caucus?” Todd asked Trump.
The president replied, “Because I think she feels that I will win much easier. I mean, I’ve been told that by many people.”
After Todd asked if he thought impeachment would help him get reelected, the president responded that “I think I win the election easier.”
Trump also discussed his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, telling Todd that he would discuss potential interference in the 2020 election with his counterpart.
“Are you going to tell him not to and what are the consequences?” Todd asked.
Trump replied, “My answer last week was both. I said both. I’d do both. Except they didn’t put it on. And when they did put it on people understood. But they didn’t put it on because they put a different segment on. So they ask me a question. But when I said, ‘Yeah, I’d do both,’ people saw that in the last version of it because the thing played like all weekend and on Friday. So it’s just more fake news. Chuck, there’s so much fake news.”
DOJ employees urged to revolt against Bill Barr for throwing IG report ‘in the trash’ to defend Trump
On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his partisan suppression of the inspector general's conclusions about the FBI's Russia investigation.
"Here's the problem. The inspector general has already found that the — the investigation was not motivated in the way that Bill Barr is saying it is, and he's directly taking all the work of all the people and he's throwing it in the trash," said Alksne. "And he's added this other layer of an investigation and now he's broken all the rules, because one of the rules in an investigation is you don't talk about it in the middle, and he's done that. And it's a very threatening thing to the person who did the initial investigation, and it's also a way of putting his thumb on the scale with the guy who's doing the followup investigation, [U.S. Attorney John] Durham. He was talked into issuing a press release that was completely improper."
GOP ridiculed for hyping Ohio anti-impeachment protest — and only a handful of Trump supporters showed
The official Twitter of account of the Republican National Committee was buried in mockery after hyping up a video of anti-impeachment protesters in Youngstown, Ohio, where it appears only a handful of people showed up.
According to the tweet, "Ohioans are sick and tired of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS!"
However, in the video from WKBN, which can be seen below, few people chose to show up for the cameras.
As one commenter noted with tongue-in-cheek, "Thought Ohio had a few more people than that."
That was the general consensus in the comments.
GOP lawmaker scrambles for excuses after being cornered with McConnell’s promise to rig Trump impeachment
On CNN Saturday, anchor Martin Savidge confronted Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), one of Trump's biggest defenders on cable television, about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's claim that he was "coordinating" the impeachment strategy with the White House.
"Where is the impartiality there?" asked Savidge. "And it has to be a concern because, as you point out, you are an attorney and you would be worried if a member of the jury had already stated how they were going to consider."
"Yeah, we heard those comments yesterday, as everyone did," said Johnson. "You know, I've actually talked about this with some of my Democrat [sic] colleagues, those who are very much in favor of impeachment. I said isn't it a fair description of what he said? The way I heard that, Mitch McConnell is talking about the scheduling of the trial, what length of trial or what would be involved with that, with the White House, which is not unprecedented. That's what happened in the Clinton proceedings as well, they coordinated with the White House on scheduling. I don't think he's talking about the merits of the case. I think he's talking about how long will be allowed for this to go forward so I don't think there's anything inappropriate about that."