President Trump has publicly rebuked Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and privately, he's been talking with advisers about the possibility of replacing him, people familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post on Monday.
They are contemplating several different scenarios, including what to do if he were to resign or be fired, the Post reports. Trump has been very vocal about his frustration with Sessions, telling The New York Times that had he known that Sessions was going to recuse himself in March from the investigation into the Trump campaign possibly working with Russian officials before the 2016 presidential election, he would never have picked him as his attorney general.
Some Trump associates say the president is gunning to replace Sessions so he can fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who took over the Russia probe after Sessions recused himself. Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Trump could either order Rosenstein, and then Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, to fire Mueller, or he could select an attorney general during August recess, University of Texas School of Law Prof. Steve Vladeck told the Post. That person would serve until early January, the end of the next Senate session, Vladeck said, and would have the same authority as a person confirmed by the Senate. Two names that have come up during discussions on replacing Sessions are Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who on Monday scoffed at the idea.
In happier times, Trump and Sessions wore matching "Make America Great Again" hats and bonded over their hardline immigration stances, but now, their fellow Republicans are recommending they go to couples therapy — new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN on Monday that Trump and Sessions need to "sit down face-to-face and have a reconciliation and a discussion of the future."