Trump Announces Sessions Resignation, Sessions' Chief of Staff to Serve as Acting AG

Attorney General Jeff Sessions / Getty Images
November 7, 2018

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned and that Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will be acting attorney general.

"We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well....," Trump wrote in a tweet. In a subsequent tweet, Trump thanked Sessions for his service and added a permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.

Sessions' letter of resignation stated it was being submitted at the president's request, indicating the embattled official and former Alabama senator was effectively fired.

"I came to work at the Department of Justice every day determined to do my duty and serve my country. I have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice," Sessions wrote.

Sessions was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump during the 2016 election and was a surrogate of Trump's throughout the campaign. Early in the administration, Sessions announced his recusal from all matters related to the Trump campaign as the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election continued on.

It was reported that the relationship between Trump and Sessions broke down because Trump was angry with Session's decision to recuse himself. The president frequently publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with Sessions and the Justice Department for their handling of the Russia investigation. Sessions defended the department from Trump's attacks on several occasions.

CNN reported Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is "expected to remain in charge of the Russia investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller."