President Trump in an early morning tweet on Tuesday ramped up his criticism of Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE, underlining the sense that he wants to be rid of his attorney general.
Trump said Sessions, one of his earliest allies in the 2016 campaign, “has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE crimes.”
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” he tweeted.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
It's just the latest instance of Trump belittling his attorney general, a pattern that has astounded Republicans and Democrats alike.
Trump on Monday described Sessions as "beleaguered," and in an interview last week he repeated his disappointment that the attorney general had recused himself from the Justice Department's investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election.
Sessions stepped aside after it was revealed that he did not disclose in his confirmation hearings meetings with Russia's ambassador to the United States. At the time of the meetings Sessions, then a senator from Alabama, was advising the Trump campaign and acting as a surrogate.
After Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey because of his unhappiness with Comey's handling of the Russia investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation, including any possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Trump has criticized the Mueller probe, warning the special counsel to not broaden the scope of his investigation to include his business interests. Rosenstein is the top Justice Department official overseeing Mueller.
Trump's criticisms have increasingly broadened to include other figures within the Justice Department.
On Tuesday, he also pointed to the acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe.
“Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!” he said on Twitter.
Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
Trump also asked why there is no investigation into “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign.”
Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign - "quietly working to boost Clinton." So where is the investigation A.G. @seanhannity— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
The Washington Post is reporting that Trump and his advisers are floating possible replacements for Sessions, including Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE (R-Texas) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R). Giuliani said on Monday, however, that he’s not being considered for the position, and Cruz denied he is under consideration.
Trump’s focus on Clinton, his Democratic opponent in the race, seems to contradict his comments last November, when he said that he probably wouldn’t follow through on a campaign pledge to seek an investigation into the former secretary of State.
“It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about,” he told The New York Times, saying that prosecuting his former Democratic rival would be “very, very divisive for the country.”
Trump also said at the time that he didn’t think the decision would disappoint his supporters.
“I think I will explain it that we in many ways will save our country,” he said.
--This report was last updated at 7:52 a.m.