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 McConnellMcConnell sets Monday test vote on criminal justice bill Senate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump Former FBI official says Mueller won’t be ‘colored by politics’ in Russia probe MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that it’s up to President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE to pick a potential successor for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsChief Justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation Trump attorney general pick a prolific donor to GOP candidates, groups: report Press: Mueller closes in on Trump 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.


"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 GrahamSenate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump Former FBI official says Mueller won’t be ‘colored by politics’ in Russia probe GOP-controlled Senate breaks with Trump on Saudi vote 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 RosensteinMueller’s real challenge Graham vows to push Trump’s AG pick through Judiciary Committee House GOP set to grill Comey 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.