President Donald Trump has a long list of tremendous accomplishments since securing the White House in 2016. However, he’s only human, and like the rest of us, he’s bound to have some regrets since he became president.
In Trump’s first time appearing on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” host Chuck Todd asked him what he would go back and change during his presidency if he had one “do-over.”
Without hesitation, the president said appointing former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was the one mistake he’d correct.
“It would be personnel. I would say if I had one do-over, it would be, I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. … That was the biggest mistake,” Trump said.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 23, 2019
Todd then asked Trump if current Attorney General Bill Barr was his “Roy Cohn” — a tough lawyer best known for being Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel during the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings. Cohn worked as Trump’s attorney in the 1970s.
The president said Barr is “equally tough” and called him a “fine man.” “The job he’s done is incredible,” he said.
Though Trump now has a completely different view of his former attorney general, in 2016, Sessions, then an Alabama senator, was the first senator to endorse Trump and became a top campaign surrogate.
Sessions’ support was eventually rewarded when Trump gave him the title of attorney general after winning the 2016 presidential election.
The two had what most would describe as a great relationship in the beginning, but that relationship rapidly began to spiral down in the months to come.
According to Reuters, in January 2017, during his Senate confirmation hearing, Sessions reassured lawmakers that he’d never been in contact with the Russians. He was later confirmed.
Two months afterward, it was revealed that Sessions had, in fact, had contact with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, which triggered accusations from Democrats that he’d lied to Congress. In March 2017, Sessions made the decision to recuse himself from the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling.
That decision marked the beginning of the end of his stint as the head of the Department of Justice — and caused Trump to turn on him in a very public way.
Over several months in 2018, the president blasted Sessions on many occasions, repeatedly calling him out on a variety of issues.
Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation? Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? Ask Jeff Sessions!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2018
“GOP Lawmakers asking Sessions to Investigate Comey and Hillary Clinton.” @FoxNews Good luck with that request!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2018
In a particularly harsh June 2018 tweet, Trump excoriated Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation and made clear his regret of ever appointing the former senator to head the DOJ.
The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself…I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined…and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
In November 2018, Sessions announced his resignation after being publicly ridiculed by Trump for months. He was briefly replaced by Matthew Whitaker, and earlier this year, William Barr was appointed and confirmed as attorney general.
It’s interesting to ponder what direction the Russia investigation would have taken had Sessions not recused himself, as it wouldn’t have given then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein the ability to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel.
Going by what we know now, had the investigation been killed by Sessions up front, it would have saved tens of millions of dollars and nearly three years of wasted time and resources, given the fact that Mueller and his team failed to tie Trump to any crimes whatsoever.
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