Report: Trump says he would not have hired Sessions given recusal
ABC News(NEW YORK) — President Donald Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe in a lengthy interview with The New York Times Wednesday.
“Sessions should have never recused himself and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump told the Times.
He added: “If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.”
The investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election — and any possible ties to the Trump campaign — was a central focus of the interview, with the president repeating past assertions that he is not personally being scrutinized.
“I don’t think we’re under investigation,” he said. “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Sessions did not immediately comment on the interview.
The Times also quotes the president as saying that Sessions “gave some bad answers” during his testimony before Congress. “He gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren’t,” he said.
In the same report, President Trump says that special counsel Robert Mueller would cross a red line if his probe delved into Trump family finances not related to Russia, and that former FBI Director James Comey lied under oath, a claim he has made before.
The president additionally argues the Comey told him about a dossier of compromising material in an effort to implicitly threaten the commander-in-chief and keep his job.
President Trump also goes after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and acting FBI director Andrew McCabe. Noting Rosenstein being from Baltimore, Trump said that there “are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any.” He went on to say that Rosenstein recommending the firing of Comey, but also appointing Mueller to investigate whether the firing constituted obstruction of justice is “a conflict of interest.”
The president also cited money acting FBI director McCabe’s wife received during a failed bid for Virginia state Senate from a political action committee affiliated with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe — a friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton.
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