Report: Trump says he would not have hired Sessions given recusal
TARA FOWLER and ADAM KELSEY,Good Morning America 51 minutes agoPresident Donald Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe in a lengthy interview with The New York Times Wednesday, going so far as to express regret over appointing the former Alabama senator to lead the Department of Justice.”Sessions should have never recused himself and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump told the Times.He added: „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 did not immediately comment on the interview.Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from campaign probes amid Russia questionsJustice Department special counsel investigating Trump for obstruction of justice: ReportThe investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election — and any possible ties to the Trump campaign — was a central focus of the interview, with the president repeating past assertions that he is not personally being scrutinized.“I don’t think we’re under investigation,” he said. “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong.”The president made the comments despite reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether Trump obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey. As part of the Times interview, Trump levied accusations of a conflict of interest among members of Mueller’s team, decrying that some made campaign donations to his former rival Hillary Clinton.He further addressed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who serves in an acting capacity as the head of the Justice Department on Russia-related matters given Sessions’ recusal. The president appeared to presume connection between Rosenstein’s former work as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland where he was based in Baltimore, and his political allegiances.”There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any,” said Trump in the interview.A search of Maryland voter registration records found that a person with Rosenstein’s first, middle and last name and date of birth is a registered with the Republican party and does not live in Baltimore, where, as is the case across the country, the job of U.S. Attorney is federally, not locally, appointed.Trump also provided details to the Times about his dinner conversation with Vladimir Putin at last week’s G-20 summit, news of which first surfaced Monday. The president said the length of the discussion „could be 15 minutes” and that a topic included „Russian adoption.””Which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don had in that meeting,” said Trump, referring to his son’s June 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney in which he believed he would be receiving incriminating information about Clinton.
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