Warner 'disappointed' in how Trump replaced Sessions

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLeaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight Mobile providers at center of privacy storm Senators restart shutdown talks — and quickly hit roadblocks 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 Sessions5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony AG pick Barr emphasizes independence from Trump Hillicon Valley: Trump AG pick signals new scrutiny on tech giants | Wireless providers in new privacy storm | SEC brings charges in agency hack | Facebook to invest 0M in local news 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 RosensteinLive coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing The Hill's Morning Report — No new negotiations as shutdown hits 25 days Democrat previews Mueller questions for Trump’s AG nominee 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 PelosiVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' On The Money: Shutdown Day 25 | Dems reject White House invite for talks | Leaders nix recess with no deal | McConnell blocks second House Dem funding bill | IRS workers called back for tax-filing season | Senate bucks Trump on Russia sanctions Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (D-Calif.) said in an interview on Thursday that he should not be overseeing the investigation. 

— Julia Manchester