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Trump unhappy with his attorney general’s surveillance probe decision

Trump said the move to ask the justice department inspector general — an Obama-era appointee — to probe alleged illegal surveillance was “disgraceful”.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2018 21:57 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
US President Donald Trump,attorney general Jeff Sessions,Obama
File photo of US attorney general Jeff Sessions.(AFP)

President Donald Trump launched a new attack on his attorney general Jeff Sessions saying it was “disgraceful” for him to launch an investigation into potential abuse by a secret court that deals with security agencies’ request for surveilling foreign spies on American soil.

Trump wanted justice department prosecutors to investigate abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which the US uses to monitor the communications of suspected foreign agents. He seemed to suggest that Session’s move would undermine the Republican demand of probing alleged FISA misuse in 2016 as inspector general Michael Horowitz is an Obama-era appointee.

“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!” he tweeted.

Trump’s tweet on Wednesday was his latest public criticism of Sessions and the second this week. Despite his backing his president on policy decisions like cracking down on illegal immigration, Trump is unhappy with the former Alabama senator for recusing himself from special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the possible collusion of Trump’s campaign team with Russia in the 2016 election.

Trump feels betrayed, believing his attorney general should have been there to protect him.

Former chief of staff Reince Priebus has claimed he had to convince Sessions at least once last year to rescind a decision to resign, and rescued him from being fired on two other occasions.

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 21:46 IST