He's still furious that Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe.
Denouncing Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ behavior as “DISGRACEFUL,” Trump on Wednesday morning once again lashed out at his top law enforcement official as the expanding Russia investigation continues to take its toll on the White House.
Long used as a public whipping post, Sessions was mocked by Trump for doing exactly what Republicans want Sessions to do — continue to raise doubts about the FBI in the context of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
On Tuesday, Sessions confirmed that the Depart of Justice’s inspector general is investigating allegations in a House Republican memo — the so-called Nunes memo — that a secret federal court was misled in 2016 when the FBI asked for permission to keep tabs on a Trump campaign official.
But for Trump that’s not enough. He wants an even more forceful response:
Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018
The whole spectacle of Trump belittling his own attorney general in public continues to stun even Republicans. Fox News contributor and former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz dubbed Trump’s Wednesday anti-Sessions tweet to be “embarrassing” and “mind boggling.”
Again, Sessions is getting beat up by Trump even though the probe he has demanded looks like nothing more than a political maneuver, designed to help revive the flagging GOP narrative about alleged FBI abuse.
It’s a case the over-hyped Nunes memo tried to make. And failed.
“The GOP memo charged that federal officials did not fully disclose important facts in an October 2016 FISA warrant application to monitor the communications of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, including that Democrats had funded a private intelligence dossier which was part of the basis for the request,” Politico notes.
But in the subsequent Democratic intelligence memo that was released, that GOP allegation of FISA abuse was thoroughly debunked. Democrats clearly noted that in the FISA application, judges were explicitly informed about the political, partisan nature of the dossier.
So there’s no there there. But Sessions wants to add more doubt by demanding the inspector general investigate. And for that, Sessions gets slammed by Trump.
He’s still furious that Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, thereby removing a way for Trump to try to control the perimeters of the probe.
Throughout 2018, Republicans have escalated their at times hysterical campaign to smear and malign the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion during the 2016 campaign. Some Republicans have even demanded that Mueller be fired or that a second special counsel be appointed to investigate Mueller.
But none of that is enough for the increasingly frantic Trump.