Trump tried to convince GOP senators to turn on Sessions: report

Trump tried to convince GOP senators to turn on Sessions: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ MORE has personally been lobbying Republican senators to flip on Attorney General 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, Politico reported Wednesday.

Politico reported that Trump, angry with his attorney general, talked about firing Sessions last week during a phone call with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ AG pick Barr emphasizes independence from Trump Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight MORE (R-S.C.). Graham last week said that Trump is “very likely” to fire Sessions and that the president was entitled to an attorney general “he has faith in.”

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Trump, according to the outlet, also has “complained loudly” to several other Republican senators about Sessions, GOP staff told Politico. 

The outlet reported that Graham and Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government Five things to watch during Barr’s confirmation hearing McConnell rebukes Steve King over white nationalist comments MORE (R-Iowa) have been frustrated with Sessions’s opposition to a criminal justice reform bill they have been pushing.

Spokespeople for Graham and the White House declined to comment to Politico, and Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, did not return Politico's call seeking comment on the report.

Graham told reporters last week that it will soon “be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice.” “Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn’t have the confidence of the president,” he said.

Separately, Grassley told Bloomberg that he has time now for hearings for a new attorney general that he didn't have previously.

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe Memo: Romney moves stir worries in Trump World Senate GOP names first female members to Judiciary panel Former US special envoy to anti-ISIS coalition joins Stanford University as lecturer MORE (R-Tenn.) also predicted last week that Trump would fire Sessions after the midterms.

“It’s apparent that after the midterms he [Trump] will make a change and choose someone to do what he wants done,” Corker said. “… It just feels to me that after the midterms the president will make the change.”

Trump earlier this month privately revived the idea of firing Sessions, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

According to Politico, Trump's latest drive to fire Sessions was prompted by the guilty plea last week of his former longtime attorney Michael Cohen and the conviction of his former campaign manager Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote Mueller files status report highlighting cooperation by key witness Barr: It would be a crime for president to pardon someone in exchange for their silence MORE. Both Cohen's plea and Manafort's conviction are tied, in part, to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's Russia investigation — for which Trump has blamed Sessions.

Last week during an interview with “Fox & Friends,” he said Sessions “never took control of the Justice Department” and criticized the attorney general for recusing himself from Mueller's Russia probe.

Sessions issued a rare rebuke of Trump over those comments, saying the Department of Justice “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”

Trump has lashed out at Sessions publicly on numerous occasions.