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McConnell: Next attorney general won’t come from Senate

McConnell: Next attorney general won’t come from Senate
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck' Nikki Haley powerfully rebuts Trump MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that it’s up to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE to pick a potential successor for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBeto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed' Rosenstein to appear for House interview next week Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure MORE, but the nominee won’t come from the Senate.

"It's not going to come from our caucus, I can tell you that. 51-49, you can do the math. We're not doing that,” McConnell said Wednesday during an Associated Press Newsmakers interview.

Senate Republicans have previously warned Trump against firing Sessions, who served in the caucus for decades and is still widely respected by his colleagues.

But some senators have signaled they believe Trump will fire Sessions after the November midterm elections. Sessions was Trump’s first Senate supporter, but their relationship quickly soured after Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russia's election interference.

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"Who the attorney general is is up to the president. We confirmed Jeff, most of us worked with him for a long time. But in the end, the president decides who the attorney general is and he'll have to make that call himself,” McConnell added.

McConnell’s comments also come amid intense speculation that Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation Trump calls Saudi explanation for journalist's death credible, arrests 'good first step' MORE (R-S.C.) could be trying to position himself to be Trump’s next attorney general.

But Graham’s staff and Trump both shot down that chatter this week.

Trump told reporters that Graham “wants to stay right where he is.”

"Certainly I would," Trump said when asked if he would give Graham a place in his administration. "But I think he's really happy."

Months of speculation that Trump could fire Sessions or Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinConservative rep slams Rosenstein's 'conflicts of interest' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Trump, Obama head to swing states with Senate majority in balance Rosenstein to appear for House interview next week MORE has sparked concerns about the implications for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation.

Rosenstein oversees that probe because Sessions recused himself.

McConnell on Wednesday declined to speculate about if he would want a successor for either Sessions or Rosenstein to protect Mueller, but indicated he was glad the president didn’t fire the deputy attorney general.

"I don't think that would have helped the president. ... I think it would not have been in his best interest to do that,” he said.