Who says President Trump never admits a mistake? In an interview recently, Trump said the biggest mistake of his presidency so far was appointing Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Sessions’ lackluster performance as AG contributed to the Russia collusion farce and slowed progress on securing US borders. The president said that, if he could go back and make that decision again, he’d have picked someone else.
The US Attorney General is a key figure in the government. As the nation’s chief lawyer and head of the Department of Justice, they’re responsible for all government legal affairs. Whoever holds this job is one of the most important presidential nominees.
- Jeff Sessions had been Attorney General of Alabama from 1995 to 1997, before moving on to the Senate. An early supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he was rewarded with the nomination for AG and sworn in on February 9, 2017.
- At first, Sessions seemed to be doing well. He reversed decisions made by his liberal predecessor, Eric Holden, that would have let many criminals escape jail time. He took a hard line on so-called “sanctuary cities” and opposed trans activists who want to allow men into women’s restrooms.
- Where things started to go wrong was with the Russia investigation pushed by the Democrats. Sessions recused himself from the investigation, leaving the government without its chief legal officer.
- President Trump was understandably angry that the man he’d picked to handle his administration’s legal business backed out at the first major challenge. Within days of Sessions recusing himself, Trump asked him to reverse the decision. Sessions refused.
- From that point, relations between the two went downhill fast. While Sessions continued to handle other legal work, he left the president exposed to a Democratic witch hunt. Trump expected his AG to support the administration, but that’s not what he got.
- Finally, last November, Trump asked Sessions to resign — which he did, on November 7, 2018.
- On Sunday, while talking to NBC’s Meet The Press, Trump told host Chuck Todd “I would say if I had one do-over, it would be I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General.”
- Unlike most politicians, President Trump will admit when he’s made a mistake. Luckily, following Sessions’ resignation, he had a second chance to get it right. New AG William Barr seems to be doing the job Jeff Sessions should have done, but didn’t.
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