Trump talked with Sessions aide about serving as attorney general: report

Trump talked with Sessions aide about serving as attorney general: report
© Anna Moneymaker

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE reportedly spoke with Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump to kick off bid for second term in Florida The Hill's Morning Report - Trump to kick off bid for second term in Florida Sarah Sanders to leave White House MORE’s chief of staff Matthew Whitaker about replacing Sessions in his role, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Sources briefed on the matter told the Post that the conversation was vague and did not specify if Whitaker would take over in an interim or permanent capacity, or how serious the president's proposal was. 

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The attorney general and the president have had an embittered relationship since Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s (DOJ) investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. 

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon MORE appointed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE to take over the probe after Sessions’s recusal. Mueller and his investigation have been targeted by Trump and his administration, often being denounced as a "witch hunt."

“The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself...I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined … and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!” Trump tweeted in June.

Rosenstein has also been seen as a top target of Trump's, with reports last month suggesting the president could fire his deputy attorney general. Trump, however, sought to downplay reports, stating Monday that he would not fire Rosenstein.

Trump, last month, escalated his attacks on Sessions, telling Hill.TV, “I don’t have an attorney general.”

Speculation that the president would fire Sessions regained steam after Trump ally Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Shanahan drama shocks Capitol Hill, leaving Pentagon rudderless Shanahan drama shocks Capitol Hill, leaving Pentagon rudderless MORE (R-S.C.) said that the attorney general would “very likely” be fired after November’s midterm elections.

“I think there will come a time, sooner rather than later, where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice,” Graham told Bloomberg News. “Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn’t have the confidence of the president.” 

White House officials told the Post that they expect Rosenstein and Sessions to remain in their positions until November's midterm elections, fearing that their removal could be a detriment to House and Senate Republican candidates.

Whitaker penned an op-ed for CNN in Aug. 2017 in which he said Mueller would cross a “red line” if he began looking into the finances of Trump and his family.

If Whitaker were to replace Sessions, he could be in a position to supervise the Mueller probe, the Post noted. Ethics officials, however, would first likely review his past statements to explore any potential conflicts of interest, according to the paper.

The White House and the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.