On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he will continue working as the country’s highest police authority as long as President Donald Trump deems him suitable for the position.
“I serve at the pleasure of the president. I’ve understood that from the day I took the job,” Sessions told The Associated Press, hinting that he knows the presidesnt has the complete authority to dismiss him as the head of the Justice Department if he wants.
Attorney General Sessions, an early Trump supporter, said that he and the president have a “harmony of values and beliefs,” while acknowledging that their relationship has seen better days.
Last week, in a similar statement, while sounding confident about his abilities to lead the Justice department, he said that he would only stay in the position “as long as that is appropriate.”
The attorney general’s latest remarks came durring a trip to El Salvador, where he was busy meeting officials to try and counter the threats posed by the violent street criminal gang commonly known as MS-13.
The rift between Trump and Sessions seems to have gone to another level after the president said in an interview to the New York Times last week, that he would have appointed someone else as his attorney general had he known that Sessions would recuse himself from the federal and congressional investigations into the Trump campaigns alleged collusion with Russia.
In the following days, Trump continued to ramp up his criticism of Sessions in a series of attacks. Trump called Session “beleaguered,” and accused him of taking a “very weak” stance in the case of Hillary Clinton’s alleged crimes.
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” he tweeted.
Despite the harsh criticism however, Trump has not yet announced his plans regarding Sessions’ future. And Sessions himself has time and again suggested that he will not be stepping down unless the president dismisses him.
In a press conference with the Lebanese PM in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday, when asked about his plans to fire Sessions, Trump said, “we will see what happens.”
Later on Wednesday night, the Washington Post claimed that Trump was already discussing with his aides and close advisers, the possibility of appointing a new attorney general through a recess appointment if Sessions indeed stepped down.
However, many Republican lawmakers seem to have come to Sessions’ defense and have warned the president against his dismissal or the installation of a new attorney general through a recess appointment.