Holder: Justice leaders should push back at Trump

Former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderThe American experience is incomplete without its neighbor – The argument for Americanism Eric Holder: Trump administration has 'brought shame to the nation’ with family separations US law is not on the side of Mueller's appointment as special counsel MORE says Justice Department leaders should “push back” against President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Fallon responds to Trump: I'll donate to pro-immigrant nonprofit in his name South Carolina GOP candidate expected to make full recovery after car accident Official: US to present North Korea with timeline, 'specific asks' MORE, who contends he has an “absolute right” to run the nation’s law and order agency. 

Holder called Trump's statement “dangerous” and “irresponsible,” adding that it “flies in the face" of American history.

“It flies in the face of the way in which every American president, Republican and Democrat, has viewed the Justice Department,” Holder told several reporters in a Senate hallway shortly after he watched Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) get sworn in. 

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“It is dangerous, it is irresponsible, and it is something that I hope the people who are in the Justice Department now will push back on very, very strongly.

Trump made the remark in an interview last week with The New York Times.

“I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department,” Trump said.

Holder, who served as President Obama's first attorney general, is currently working on redistricting issues but didn’t rule out a run for office himself.

“We'll see,” Holder responded when asked if will run for office in 2018 or 2020.

Holder served as attorney general from 

The House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress in June 2012 for not turning over documents related to a controversy in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed dealers to sell guns that they believed could eventually be tracked to Mexican drug cartels. He's the only attorney general to ever be voted in contempt of Congress.

Seventeen Democrats backed Republicans on the vote.