White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to say Tuesday whether President Donald Trump still has confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Earlier on Tuesday, The New York Times reported that the president has soured on Sessions in recent weeks.
“I have not had a discussion with him about that,” Spicer replied when asked about how much confidence Trump has in Sessions. “If I have not had a discussion with him, I tend not to comment on it.”
Last week, Spicer responded “absolutely” when asked if Trump still had confidence in senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.
Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump and has doggedly pursued the president’s agenda at the Department of Justice. The attorney general reversed a move by the Obama administration that made it harder to prosecute drug dealers, tailored a grant to encourage localities to enforce immigration law, ordered U.S. Attorneys to prioritize prosecuting immigration law violators, and announced a hiring surge of immigration judges.”
The Times, however, reported Tuesday that the president is upset with Sessions over his handling of the travel ban. Trump went after the DOJ in two tweets Monday.
“The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C,” he wrote. “The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court — & seek much tougher version!”
The report also said that Trump has complained to Sessions and his aides about the attorney general’s recusal from the investigation into alleged Russian election interference. The recusal came after it was uncovered that Sessions had an undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador.
The president believes that there would never have been an appointment of a special prosecutor without this recusal, according to the Times.