Hatch: Trump’s Sessions attacks bad for presidency

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom MORE (R-Utah) warned against President Trump's recent attacks on Attorney General Sessions in a radio interview on Friday, saying the attacks could harm his agenda and presidency. 

"It's a little difficult for me to see why the president is jumping all over Jeff because Jeff is a good, honest person. He's been extremely loyal to the president," Hatch, who is the second highest ranking Republican in the Senate, said on "The Doug Wright Show" on KSL News Radio. 

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Hatch's comments come after the president launched a series of attacks on Sessions this month for recusing himself from the federal probe into Russian election meddling. 

         — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

Trump called Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the probe "very unfair" in an interview with The New York Times this month. 

Sessions was the first sitting senator to support Trump during the presidential campaign. 

"He gave up a very safe Senate seat to serve in the administration and to serve this president. I really think he deserves a bit more respect than is being shown right now. Right now it does feel like the president is playing games and looking for opportunities to criticize him, but I communicated to the president that I think Jeff deserves a bit more respect," he said. 

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"My advice to the president has been and will continue to be to think more carefully about some of the things he says particularly on Twitter because we've gotten to the point where it can do real harm to his agenda, even his presidency," Hatch said. 

Hatch is a part of a large group of Republicans defending Sessions from Trump's barrage of criticisms. 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCheney unveils Turkey sanctions legislation Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs War of words at the White House MORE (R-S.C.) said there would be "holy hell to pay" if Trump fired Sessions. 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyFarmers: New Trump ethanol proposal reneged on previous deal Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate Positive quotes from Iowa senators disappear from EPA's latest ethanol announcement MORE (R-Iowa) warned he would not hold hearings to confirm a successor for Sessions. 

Hatch said during the interview he did not think Trump would go as far as firing Sessions.