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Republicans rally around 'beleaguered' Jeff Sessions

Donald Trump wants Sessions out, and discussed the implications of firing him with his advisers and has even looked at possible replacements.

world Updated: Jul 26, 2017 21:38 IST
Yashwant Raj
File photo of US attorney general Jeff Sessions.
File photo of US attorney general Jeff Sessions.(AP)

America’s “beleaguered” attorney general Jeff Sessions has found a groundswell of support among Republicans troubled by President Donald Trump’s continuing public and vicious attacks on him.

Republican lawmakers and conservative commentators have rallied behind Sessions in recent days, with senator Richard Shelby, in an interview to Fox News, warning Trump that his firing “wouldn’t be well-received”.

Even Breitbart News Network, a strident supporter of Trump, has sided with the attorney general, saying, “Sessions has fought in the trenches for a tough line on immigration for years, back when Trump was pouring money into the campaign coffers of Democrats.”

Trump has been annoyed about Sessions recusing himself from the Russia investigation, blaming him for the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. He wants Sessions out, and discussed its implications with his advisers and has even looked at possible replacements.

When asked why he didn’t simply fire him, Trump said, “I’m very disappointed with the attorney general, but we will see what happens. Time will tell.”

Trump’s eventual target is Mueller, whom he can fire directly but has chosen not to. And Sessions can’t fire him because he has removed himself from the Russia probe and neither would his deputy, Rob Rosenstein, who appointed him. However, Trump might be in a better place with Sessions’s replacement.

But with Democrats determined to protect Mueller, Trump will find himself pushed back even by Republicans, who have openly come out in support of Sessions.