Donald Trump on Jeff Sessions

Donald Trump on Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions

THEN
NOW


2016 - March 2017
July 2017 - 2020

Donald Trump on Jeff Sessions Then
Donald Trump on Jeff Sessions Now


#DonaldTrump 11/18/16: "Jeff Sessions…is a world class legal mind." » #Trump 9/18/18: "He went through the nominating process and he did very poorly…giving very confusing answers." Click To Tweet

Donald Trump on Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions

THEN

2016 - March 2017

Donald Trump on Jeff Sessions Then
“I’m becoming mainstream. All these people are now endorsing me. When I get Jeff Sessions, that means a lot to me. That means a lot. That’s a biggie, especially since he’s never done it before.”
- Feb 28, 2016

Sessions becomes the first sitting senator to endorse Trump at a campaign rally in Madison, Alabama

NBC News, Feb 29, 2016
Alabama’s Jeff Sessions Becomes First Senator to Endorse Trump

(retrieved 12/5/19)
“Senator Jeff Sessions, one of the most respected men in the Senate, endorsed me, and frankly — I mean, and he’s a great man. And by the way, Jeff Sessions is a great man with great, great knowledge. And Ted Cruz thought he was going to get that endorsement. He would speak about Jeff Sessions all the time, then Jeff Sessions came out and endorsed me.”
- March 29, 2016
“Jeff Sessions is a fantastic man. Jeff Sessions is one of the most highly respected people in the United States Senate. Jeff Sessions is a person that I believe that Ted Cruz has the most respect for and I think Ted thought he would get an endorsement. You know, Jeff Sessions has never endorsed a presidential candidate before, as many years as he’s been in the Senate. So, you know, Jeff Sessions certainly is somebody that I would consider, absolutely. He’s a fantastic person.”
- May 31, 2016

CNN, May 31, 2016
Trump Press Conference; Trump Rants about Press.

(retrieved 2/10/16)
“The president-elect has been unbelievably impressed with Senator Sessions and his phenomenal record as Alabama’s attorney general and U.S. attorney. It is no wonder the people of Alabama re-elected him without opposition.”
- Nov 17, 2016

Statement released by Trump transition team

New York Times, Nov 17, 2016
Jeff Sessions Appears Headed to a Trump Cabinet Position

(retrieved 12/5/19)
“Jeff has been a highly respected member of the U.S. Senate for 20 years. He is a world class legal mind and considered a truly great Attorney General and US Attorney in the state of Alabama. Jeff is greatly admired by legal scholars and virtually everyone who knows him.”
- Nov 18, 2016

CNN, Nov 18, 2016
Trump picks Sessions for attorney general

(retrieved 12/5/19)
“‘Jeff Sessions, a Fitting Selection for Attorney General'”
“Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional.”


#DonaldTrump 11/18/16: "Jeff ❲Sessions❳ is greatly admired by legal scholars and virtually everyone who knows him." » #Trump 8/11/18: "Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action." Click To Tweet

NOW

July 2017 - 2020

Donald Trump on Jeff Sessions Now
“Look, Sessions gets the job. Right after he gets the job, he recuses himself… Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else… So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have — which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself… Yeah, what Jeff Sessions did was he recused himself right after, right after he became attorney general. And I said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me this before?’ I would have.”
July 19, 2017 -

New York Times, July 19, 2017
Excerpts From The Times’s Interview With Trump

(retrieved 12/5/19)
“So many people are asking why isn’t the A.G. or Special Council looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes.”
“So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys [sic] crimes & Russia relations?”
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes … & Intel leakers!”
“Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign – ‘quietly working to boost Clinton.’ So where is the investigation A.G.”
“When they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama. I had 40,000 people. He was a senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, ’What do I have to lose?’ And he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement. But I’m very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.”
July 25, 2017 -

Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2017
Trump Won’t Say if He Will Fire Sessions

(retrieved 12/5/19)
“I am disappointed in the Attorney General. He should not have recused himself almost immediately after he took office. And if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office. And I would have quite simply picked somebody else. So I think that’s a bad thing not for the president, but for the presidency. I think that’s unfair to the presidency, and that’s the way I feel….

“I want the attorney general to be much tougher on the leaks from intelligence agencies, which are leaking like rarely have they ever leaked before at a very important level. These are intelligence agencies. We cannot have that happen. You know, many of my views in addition to that. But I think that’s one of the very important things that they have to get on with. I told you before I’m very disappointed with the attorney general, but we will see what happens, time will tell. Time will tell.”
July 25, 2017 -

Real Clear Politics, July 25, 2017
Trump: 'Very Disappointed' With Sessions, Want Him To Be 'Tougher' On Intel Leaks

(retrieved 12/5/19)
quote starts at beginning
“Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend…”
If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation? … Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? Ask Jeff Sessions!”
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse… Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? … DISGRACEFUL!”
“Rep. Trey Gowdy, ‘I don’t think so, I think what the President is doing is expressing frustration that Attorney General Sessions should have shared these reasons for recusal before he took the job, not afterward. If I were the President and I picked someone to be the country’s chief law enforcement officer, and they told me later, ‘oh by the way I’m not going to be able to participate in the most important case in the office, I would be frustrated too…and that’s how I read that – Senator Sessions, why didn’t you tell me before I picked you…'”
“‘The recusal of Jeff Sessions was an unforced betrayal of the President of the United States.’ JOE DIGENOVA, former U.S. Attorney.”
“The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself…I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined…and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!”
“Jeff Sessions said he wouldn’t allow politics to influence him only because he doesn’t understand what is happening underneath his command position.”
“I have never seen anything so Rigged in my life. Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action.”
“I put in an attorney general who never took control of the Justice Department. Jeff Sessions, never took control of the Justice Department. It’s sort of an incredible thing. It’s a very, very sad day. Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done or he should have told me. Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in. He took the job, and then he said ‘I’m going to recuse myself.’ I said to myself, ‘What kind of a man is this?'”
Aug 23, 2018 -

Fox News (via CNN), Aug 23, 2018
Trump says Jeff Sessions 'never took control of the Justice Department'

(retrieved 2/6/19)
starts at beginning

“‘Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.’ Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the ‘other side’ including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks, Mueller conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr… Come on Jeff, you can do it, the country is waiting!”
“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff. The Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now.”
“The already discredited Woodward book, so many lies and phony sources, has me calling Jeff Sessions ‘mentally retarded’ and ‘a dumb southerner.’ I said NEITHER, never used those terms on anyone, including Jeff, and being a southerner is a GREAT thing. He made this up to divide!”
“I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad

“I’m so sad over Jeff Sessions because he came to me. He was the first senator that endorsed me. And he wanted to be attorney general, and I didn’t see it. And then he went through the nominating process and he did very poorly. I mean, he was mixed up and confused, and people that worked with him for, you know, a long time in the Senate were not nice to him, but he was giving very confusing answers. Answers that should have been easily answered. And that was a rough time for him

“He gets in and probably because of the experience that he had going through the nominating when somebody asked him the first question about Hillary Clinton or something he said ‘I recuse myself, I recuse myself. And now it turned out he didn’t have to recuse himself. Actually, the FBI reported shortly thereafter any reason for him to recuse himself. And it’s very sad what happened…

“A lot of people have asked me to [fire Sessions]. And I guess I study history, and I say I just want to leave things alone, it was very unfair what he did. And my worst enemies, I mean, people that, you know, are on the other side of me in a lot of ways, including politically, have said that was a very unfair thing he did. We’ll see how it goes with Jeff. I’m very disappointed in Jeff. Very disappointed.”
Sept 18, 2018 -

“Jeff Sessions should have never recused himself. He did it for — and he did it immediately. He should have told me that. And he recused himself. And even people that are not my friends say that was a horrible thing that he did to the president, a horrible thing. He should be ashamed of himself for doing it. He should have told me that beforehand. And if he would have told me that beforehand, I probably would have put somebody else in the Department of Justice. But Jeff Sessions should never have recused himself… I haven’t said I was going to fire him or not… We’ll see what happens. But if you ask me: Am I thrilled? No, I am not thrilled.”
Oct 17, 2018 -

Associated Press, Oct 17, 2018
Read the transcript of AP’s interview with President Trump

(retrieved 1/30/19)
“We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”
“Thank you, people are starting to see and understand what this Witch Hunt is all about. Jeff Sessions should be ashamed of himself for allowing this total HOAX to get started in the first place!”
“As you know, the Attorney General says, ‘I’m gonna recuse mahself.’ And I said, ‘Why the hell didn’t he tell me that before I put him in?’… The attorney general is weak and ineffective, and he doesn’t do what he should have done.”
March 2, 2019 -

C-SPAN, March 2, 2019
President Trump at Conservative Political Action Conference

(retrieved 3/2/19)
quote starts at beginning
“I would say if I had one do over, it would be I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be attorney general.”
June 23, 2019 -

Fox News, June 23, 2019
Trump says appointing Sessions was his biggest mistake

(retrieved 12/5/19)
quote starts at beginning
“You look at what’s happening over at the Justice Department, now we have a great attorney general. Whereas before that, with Jeff Sessions, it was a disaster. Just a total disaster. He was an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama. And I put him there because he endorsed me, and he wanted it so badly. And I wish he’d never endorsed me. It would have been the greatest non-endorsement I ever had.”
Oct 10, 2019 -

Daily Caller, Oct 10, 2019
GORKA: My Exclusive Interview With President Donald Trump

(retrieved 10/13/19)
“This [Sessions facing a primary runoff] is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt. Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!”

Trump denies calling Sessions retarded and a dumb Southerner.


#DonaldTrump 11/17/16: "Unbelievably impressed with Senator Sessions and his phenomenal record." » #Trump 12/16/18: "Sessions should be ashamed of himself for allowing this total HOAX to get started in the first place!" Click To Tweet