Trump Just Accidentally Strengthened the Case for Sessions’ Recusal

When a Twitter attack backfires.

Alex Edelman/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump again expressed regret about appointing Jeff Sessions as his attorney general, claiming in a Tuesday morning tweet that had he known Sessions would eventually recuse himself from overseeing the ongoing Russia investigation, he would have “quickly picked someone else.” 

In declaring that Sessions “knew better than most” regarding questions of collusion, Trump underscored the argument that Sessions’ recusal was in fact wholly appropriate by suggesting he had firsthand knowledge of events relevant to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Trump’s tweet also seemed to suggest that under any other attorney general, there would be no investigation into ties between Russia and his campaign, businesses, or administration.

It’s the latest attack by Trump since Sessions announced his recusal from all investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign in May 2017—a commitment he appears to have violated on numerous occasions. The president has insulted Sessions’ decision as “disgraceful” and “very unfair to the president” and privately berated him in meetings.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump also raised questions about the Justice Department’s inspector general report into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, insinuating that the fact the report has not yet been released indicates it is being edited to cover up “horrible things” done by his 2016 presidential rival and former FBI Director James Comey. The report is expected to be released any day.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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