As of a few weeks ago, Donald Trump said he wouldn’t fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the midterm elections. In the interim, however, the president is also making clear that he holds Sessions in such contempt, he effectively sees the office of the attorney general as empty.
President Trump in an Oval Office interview with Hill.TV launched one of his most ferocious broadsides to date against Jeff Sessions, suggesting the attorney general was essentially AWOL and performing badly on a variety of issues,
“I don’t have an Attorney General. It’s very sad,” Trump told Hill.TV in an extensive and free-wheeling interview Tuesday from the Oval Office.
Way back in 1991, there was an episode of “The Simpsons” in which Bart and Lisa tried to reconcile Krusty the Clown and his estranged father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky, who disapproved of his son’s line of work. When the kids went to talk to the rabbi about his son, Krustofsky bellowed, “I have no son!” and slammed the door in their face.
“Oh great,” Bart said. “We came all this way and it’s the wrong guy.” Krustofsky then briefly opened the door to explain, “I didn’t mean that literally.”
Similarly, Trump doesn’t literally believe he doesn’t have an attorney general; the president just rejects Sessions’ tenure with such intensity that he apparently believes Sessions might as well not be there.
The report in The Hill added:
The president has long excoriated Sessions for his March 2017 decision to recuse himself from the Russia collusion investigation. But on Tuesday he suggested he is frustrated by Sessions’ performance on far more than that.
“I’m not happy at the border, I’m not happy with numerous things, not just this,” he said.
Look, let’s not play games. Trump expects his attorney general to be an extension of the White House political agenda, as evidenced by the president’s recent call for Sessions to go easy on two allegedly corrupt Republican members of Congress because it might interfere with the GOP’s electoral plans.
Sessions hasn’t been a partisan weapon to Trump’s satisfaction, and so the president has come to see him as an enemy. The enmity has nothing to do with job performance, and to pretend otherwise is silly.
Trump was eventually asked about Sessions’ possible ouster;
“We’ll see what happens. A lot of people have asked me to do that. And I guess I study history, and I say I just want to leave things alone, but it was very unfair what he did,” he said, referring to the recusal decision.
“And my worst enemies, I mean, people that, you know, are on the other side of me, in a lot of ways including politically, have said that was a very unfair thing he did.”
First, “I guess I study history” is one of the funnier things Trump has said in a while. Second, if the president genuinely believes that there are Democrats who believe it was “very unfair” of Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, Trump really is living in a bizarre fantasy world of his own construction.