Warner 'disappointed' in how Trump replaced Sessions

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDems request probe into spa owner suspected of trying to sell access to Trump Live video of New Zealand shooting puts tech on defensive The Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies first veto after latest clash with Senate GOP MORE (D-Va.) said in an interview that aired Friday on "Rising" that he was disappointed in how the White House chose Matthew Whitaker to replace Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump MORE as acting attorney general. 

"I think everyone knew that the president wanted to get rid of Sessions," Warner told Hill.TV's Alison Spann on Thursday. 

"I was a little surprised that he acted as quickly as he did. I'm very disappointed that he didn't go ahead and move up to the acting attorney general position the current Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain Rosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Graham says he'll probe Rosenstein's 25th Amendment remarks MORE, or he could have moved up the solicitor general, someone who also had received congressional approval," he continued. 

"Instead, he took this gentleman, Mr. Whitaker, who I think [is] very political, and who seems to have as his biggest asset that he's a big Trump loyalist," Warner said. "That raises a lot of questions. It raises questions about what this individual may try to do or not do in terms of either shutting down the Mueller investigation, or impeding, such as cutting back funding, cutting back on access to the FBI agents, not being willing to have Mueller be able to file further indictments that may be up." 

Warner is the top Democrat at the Senate Intelligence Committee and has helped lead the panel's probe into Russia's election meddling. 

The senator called on Whitaker to recuse himself from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe into election meddling in a tweet on Wednesday.  

Democrats have slammed Whitaker's appointment, citing his past comments criticizing the Russia probe. 

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiRisk-averse Republicans are failing the republic The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight Trump, Saturday Night Live and why autocrats can't take a joke MORE (D-Calif.) said in an interview on Thursday that he should not be overseeing the investigation. 

— Julia Manchester