Warner 'disappointed' in how Trump replaced Sessions

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOn The Money: Trump, Senate leaders to huddle on border wall funding | Fed bank regulator walks tightrope on Dodd-Frank | Koch-backed groups blast incentives for corporations after Amazon deal Schumer told Warner to back off of Facebook: report Schumer reelected as Senate Democratic Leader 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 SessionsCongress is going to make marijuana moves Trump throws support behind criminal justice bill Bill to protect Mueller blocked in Senate MORE as ActingMatthew G WhitakerSchumer warns Trump to stay out of government funding negotiations Grassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Acting AG will meet with DOJ ethics officials to discuss possible recusal MORE 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 RosensteinOver 1,600 lawyers sign letter saying Mueller probe must be protected Democrats in murky legal water with Whitaker lawsuits Maryland asks court to replace Whitaker with Rosenstein as acting AG 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 PelosiPelosi and her opponents voice confidence over Speakership battle House Dems split on how to tackle climate change Overnight Energy: House Dems at odds over how to handle climate change | Trump shows support to California over wildfires | Zinke calls fires worse than Iraq war zones MORE (D-Calif.) said in an interview on Thursday that he should not be overseeing the investigation. 

— Julia Manchester