Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday fired back at President Donald Trump following an interview in which the president said Sessions "never took control of the Justice Department."
Sessions released a statement hours after Trump, in a "Fox & Friends" interview that aired earlier in the morning, castigated the attorney general. Sessions said the Department of Justice "will not be improperly influenced by political considerations," CNN reports.
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"While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action. However, no nation has a more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement investigators and prosecutors than the United States," Sessions said in a statement.
"I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President's agenda — one that protects the safety and security and rights of the American people, reduces violent crime, enforces our immigration laws, promotes economic growth, and advances religious liberty," Sessions continued.
The attorney general concluded his statement by talking about how proud he was of the work he's done in helping advance the rule of law.
Trump also said during the Fox News interview that even his "enemies" have told him Sessions should have informed him he was planning to recuse himself from the Russia investigation so that he could have picked a different attorney general.
"What kind of a man is this?" Trump said, reflecting on his reaction when Sessions announced he was recusing himself.
This is not the first time Trump has been critical of Sessions, who was one of Trump's earlier supporters during the 2016 election.The president has slammed Sessions multiple times over the last few months on Twitter for for stepping away from the Russia investigation and has quoted other people critical of Sessions.
"The recusal of Jeff Sessions was an unforced betrayal of the President of the United States." JOE DIGENOVA, former U.S. Attorney.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself…I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined…and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018
Sessions recused himself from the investigation last March after he faced scrutiny over newly disclosed contacts he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States.