Last week, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) -- two of Congress’ most far-right members -- caused a bit of a stir when they called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. One of the key questions was whether they'd soon have company.
Third Republican calls for Sessions to resignJan. 6, 201800:48
That answer is coming into focus. As Rachel noted on Friday's show, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) has also called for Sessions' ouster, and around the same time, a fourth House Republican condemned the attorney general in unusually aggressive ways. TPM reported:
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said Friday that President Donald Trump “has a legitimate right to say that he was betrayed” by Attorney General Jeff Sessions due to Sessions’ recusal from matters relating to Russia, which in turn led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.“The American people, now, are getting a taste of what people in Washington have known over this last year, and that is Jeff Sessions betrays the people who have had faith in him,” Rohrabacher told CNN’s Ana Cabrera in an interview.
Rohrabacher, who has an awkward reputation as Vladimir Putin's favorite congressman, went on to say in the same interview that Sessions has "betrayed the president on the special prosecutor for the Russia collusion that never existed.”
As best as I can tell, Rohrabacher hasn't literally called for Sessions' resignation, at least not yet, though once a congressman starts throwing around words like "betrayal," there's no real mystery as to what his position is.
In case this isn't already obvious, we talked last week about the point of the anti-Sessions offensive in Republican circles. It's not especially complicated: as the seriousness of Trump’s Russia scandal has grown, many of the president’s most reflexively partisan allies have rushed to undermine and discredit the investigation and those leading it.
With this in mind, a growing number of Republicans want Sessions out in order to allow Trump to appoint a new attorney general, who would assume oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation (which Sessions has recused himself from), and shield the White House from any further consequences.
For his part, Trump was asked at a press conference at Camp David on Saturday morning whether he stands by Jeff Sessions as his attorney general. "Yes," the president replied, "I do."
Sessions' reaction to the endorsement was not immediately obvious -- because he wasn't invited to the Camp David retreat.