President Trump said on Wednesday that he would not have picked Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump: Sessions recusal ‘unfair’ to me Overnight Finance: Pressure builds for GOP on taxes | NAFTA talks to begin in August | DOJ expands asset seizure program | Regulator defends charters for financial tech firms Trump administration to drop M Harley-Davidson pollution fine: report MORE as his attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the investigations into Russian election meddling.
That Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the probe, Trump told The New York Times in an interview, is “very unfair to the president.”
“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,” Trump said.
“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’m not going to take you,” he continued. “It’s extremely unfair – and that’s a mild word – to the president.”
Sessions recused himself from the law enforcement investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow in March, after it was revealed that he failed to disclose to the Senate two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while he was a surrogate for Trump’s campaign.
The announcement that Sessions would step back from the investigation surprised Trump, who told the Times on Wednesday that the attorney general gave him “zero” warning before recusing himself.
Trump’s young administration has been dogged by ongoing investigations into whether members of his campaign coordinated with Russian officials to help swing the election in his favor.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or improper activity, and has called the probe a “witch hunt.