WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that President Donald Trump’s critical tweets about him were “kind of hurtful.”
Speaking to Fox News Thursday, Sessions said that the flurry of tweets Trump has sent off criticizing him were not the easiest to swallow, but he still defended his boss’s leadership style.
“Well it’s kind of hurtful, but the President of the United States is a strong leader,” Sessions said, adding that he believes Trump remains committed to making the country “great again.”
“He is determined to move this country in the direction he believes it needs to go to make us great again, and he has had a lot of criticisms — and he is steadfastly determined to get his job done and he wants all of us to do our jobs and that’s what I intend to do,” Sessions said in comments released by Fox News ahead of a primetime interview with Sessions set for Thursday.
The public criticism of Sessions by Trump has persisted for weeks. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!”
Trump publicly voiced his displeasure with his attorney general during an interview with The New York Times published last week. He said that he would not have chosen Sessions to be his attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself from investigations into matters related to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump’s remarks represent an extraordinary rebuke from the President toward the nation’s top law enforcement official, who is also one of his earliest political allies — Sessions was the first sitting senator to back Trump’s presidential bid.
“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the President,” Trump said in the interview. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? 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.”
Sessions’ interview with Tucker Carlson from El Salvador is set to air on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET.