Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) argued Wednesday that President Trump’s recent attacks on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE are a result of the president’s unfamiliarity with “the nuance” in politics.
“He’s not a polished politician when it comes to that, and I’m sure he’s not familiar with the nuance of the personalities and the massive egos that pack this Capitol that I’m standing in right now,” King told host Chris Cuomo on CNN's “New Day.”
Trump has in the past week launched a series of blistering attacks on Sessions, who was the first sitting U.S. senator to support his White House bid.
The president has voiced frustration over Sessions's decision earlier this year to recuse himself from federal probes into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump stopped short of asking for Sessions’s resignation during a press conference on Tuesday, saying he was “disappointed” in the attorney general and that only “time will tell” his fate.
King said Wednesday that Trump could have approached the situation differently.
“I wish he hadn’t done that. There’s a lot more subtle ways to get done what you need done, and some of that is sit down with people and look them in the eye and tell them what’s important and ask them for their commitment,” King said.
“This arena, here now, there’s a lot at stake, and I think the president is frustrated, and if he’d restrained himself more, perhaps he could be a little more successful,” he added.
King joins a growing group of Republicans coming to Sessions’s defense in the wake of Trump's criticism.
The attorney general has been one of the president’s most ardent supporters, working to implement his “law and order” agenda at the Justice Department.
Sessions has said he will stay in his post for “as long that is appropriate.”
Trump continued to tweet about Sessions on Wednesday, questioning why the attorney general had not replaced Andrew McCabe, who became acting director of the FBI after Trump fired James Comey in May.
Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
...big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017