McConnell: Next attorney general won’t come from Senate

McConnell: Next attorney general won’t come from Senate
© Getty

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGreen New Deal Resolution invites big picture governing ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that it’s up to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE to pick a potential successor for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war McCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' 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 GrahamThe Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war Graham seeks new Rosenstein testimony after explosive McCabe interview Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general 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 RosensteinEx-federal prosecutor: I would have 'owned' wearing a wire to record Trump The embarrassing return of Andrew McCabe The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight 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.