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Trump mocks US Attorney General Jeff Sessions in another burst of tweets

He called on him to probe a litany of recurring complaints against those investigating his administration and Democrats.

US president Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions
US president Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Image: PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has escalated his long-running feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling on him to probe a litany of recurring complaints against those investigating his administration and Democrats.

Responding to Sessions’ declaration that he would not be influenced by politics, Trump tweeted that Sessions must “look into all of the corruption on the “other side,” later adding: “Come on Jeff, you can do it, the country is waiting!”

The president’s pushback marked the second day of a highly public smackdown between Trump and his attorney general.

Earlier this week, Trump, concerned by the legal downfall of two former advisers, accused Sessions of failing to take control of the Justice Department.

Sessions hitting back

Sessions hit back yesterday, saying that he and his department “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations”.

Trump’s anger with Sessions boiled over in an interview with Fox News in which the president also expressed frustration with the plea agreement his onetime legal “fixer” Michael Cohen cut with prosecutors, including implicating Trump in a crime that Cohen admitted.

Trump said it might be better if “flipping” – cooperating with prosecutors in exchange for more favourable treatment – were illegal because people cooperating with the government “just make up lies” to get favourable treatment.

On Twitter today, Trump also complained about the five-year sentence given to a former government contractor convicted of mailing a classified US report to a news organisation.

Trump said “this is ‘small potatoes’ compared to what Hillary Clinton did”.

Tweet by @Donald J. Trump Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter

Prosecutors are calling that sentence handed down to 26-year-old Reality Winner the longest sentence imposed for a federal crime involving leaks to the media.

Impeachment

In the wide-ranging Fox interview, Trump also defended himself against talk of impeachment – “the market would crash … everybody would be very poor” – tried to distance himself from Cohen – “I would see him sometimes” – and said anew that he hadn’t known in advance about Cohen’s hush money payments to silence women alleging sexual relationships with the celebrity businessman.

Trump’s latest shots against law enforcement came as he appeared increasingly vulnerable to long-running investigations after this week’s one-two punch of Cohen’s plea deal and the conviction of Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort.

Trump has spent more than a year publicly and privately venting over Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the federal Russia-collusion investigation because he’d worked on Trump’s campaign. Trump, who blames that decision for the eventual appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, told Fox and Friends host Ainsley Earhardt that Sessions “never took control of the Justice Department and it’s a sort of an incredible thing”.

“What kind of man is this?” Trump said.

“You know the only reason I gave him the job? Because I felt loyalty, he was an original supporter,” Trump said of Sessions, an Alabama Republican who was the first senator to endorse Trump’s bid.

Sessions has made clear to associates that he has no intention of leaving his job voluntarily despite Trump’s constant criticism. But his tone in his statement yesterday made clear he is tired of the president’s attacks.

“I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President’s agenda.”

Then he declared, that while he’s attorney general the actions of the department “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action”.

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Associated Press

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