The last barriers are crumbling to keep President Donald Trump from firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Washington Post reports.
Citing three unnamed sources, the Post says Trump has been talking this month about axing Sessions during private conversations with his aides and lawyers — but has been persuaded to hold off while special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is underway.
Even Senate Republicans who once cautioned against firing Session are now resigned to the prospect, the Post reported.
“We wish the best for him, but as any administration would show, Cabinet members seldom last the entire administration, and this is clearly not an exception,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., told the Post.
“Nothing lasts forever,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told the news outlet, describing the Trump-Sessions dynamic as “a toxic relationship.”
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a defender of the attorney general, bluntly told the Post: “My sense is the fix is in.”
Trump has repeatedly hammered Sessions on Twitter for recusing himself from the Russia inquiry — a move that led to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s decision to appoint Mueller last year.
But at least twice this month, he vented privately to advisers and lawyers about the “endless investigation” and said he needs to fire Sessions for saddling his presidency with the controversy, the Post reported.
“If there is any action taken, the president agrees with us that it shouldn’t be taken until after the investigation is concluded,” Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Post.
According to the Post, an unnamed senior White House official said the goal was to delay a firing since Trump’s advisers think it can’t be stopped. Others are urging the president to fire current Justice Department leaders.
“He needs to fire Sessions, he needs to fire Rosenstein,” Doug Deason, a major Republican donor, told the Post. “They haven’t represented him or us well.”
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the chamber, told reporters Tuesday that several senators last week urged Sessions to stay in his post, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“I told him what I just told you, that I thought it was important to the department, important to the country and important to the president that he stay strong,” Cornyn told the Post.
“He’s only human, and it can’t be much fun, and so we were offering him our support and encouragement,” he added. “And I think he appreciated it. Hopefully it’ll make a difference.”
Other GOP senators are simply resigned to Sessions’s removal.
“Trump doesn’t like him,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Tuesday. “This relationship has soured, and I’m not blaming Jeff. It can’t go on like this.”
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