Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the probe into allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian interests led to “this incredible witch hunt,” which has been “incredibly unfair to the American people,” former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie said Thursday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
“That bad decision by the attorney general to recuse himself has borne out this incredible witch hunt that the president has had to live through over these last 18 months — incredibly unfair to the American people,” Bossie said.
“Look — this investigation has been going on almost two years, cost the American taxpayer over $25 million bucks,” Bossie added. “And the attorney general is a good man. However, the president is frustrated by the attorney general’s decision.”
Sessions (pictured above left), the first senator to endorse Trump’s 2016 presidential bid, stunned the president in March 2017 — just one month after being sworn in as attorney general — with the recusal that removed him from overseeing the investigation that has dominated the political scene since then.
Sessions’ action left Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge of the investigation, and he promptly appointed special counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017. The probe appears now to have become mainly focused on allegations of obstruction of justice in Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Tensions mounted between the president and his attorney general over the past year and a half, and Trump has often criticized Sessions in speeches and media interviews, and on Twitter.
Most recently, Trump said during an interview that aired Thursday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that he “put in an attorney general that never took control of” the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“Jeff Sessions never took control of the Justice Department, and it’s a sort of an incredible thing,” Trump said.
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When asked if he would fire Sessions, Trump replied, “As I’ve said, I wanted to stay uninvolved. But when everybody see’s what going on in the Justice Department … it’s a very, very sad day. Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done. Or he should have told me.
“Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself, and then you wouldn’t have put him in. He took the job and then he said, ‘I’m going to recuse myself.’ I said, what kind of a man is this?”
Bossie said that Trump is “frustrated” because he “feels” and “sees” the “double standard between the Department of Justice and the Clintons and his Department of Justice.” The FBI investigated 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official business while secretary of state. Comey declined to recommend prosecution even though hundreds of emails containing classified information and documents were compromised.
American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said the past 18 months has been “one of the most painful things to watch” as Trump’s relationship with Sessions has deteriorated apparently beyond repair.
Although Schlapp emphasized that he is a “big fan” of Sessions, he lamented that the attorney general made some decisions “that have really caused all of this drama over the course of the last year and a half.”
“If he was going to recuse himself … from this investigation, then be turning it over to someone like Rod Rosenstein, you would have immediately known that that was going to be a mistake,” Schlapp said.
“It’s not fixable. There’s nothing that can be done to fix the situation,” Schlapp warned. “We need someone running DOJ who can handle this situation and also have the confidence of the president.”