Friday, July 21, 2017

Trump Stirs The Pot; Sessions Soldiers On

Amid reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry is expanding in scope, and just hours after Trump had publicly criticized his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions nevertheless had to appear at a press event for a major DOJ operation, where he gave a muted defense of his continued work for the Trump administration.

Sessions insisted that he would continue in his job “as long as that is appropriate”, despite Trump’s unexpectedly critical remarks.  “We wholeheartedly join in the priorities of President Trump,” Sessions said, adding later: “I am totally confident that we can continue to run this office in an efficient way.”.

Rod Rosenstein, who earned Trump’s ire by choosing to appoint an special prosecutor to oversee the Russia investigation, made a more spirited defense, telling reporters: “I was proud to be here yesterday, I’m proud to be here today and I will be proud to work here tomorrow.”

In a half-hearted attempt to turn attention back to DOJ's work in fighting transnational crime, Sessions noted that the take-down of the dark website AlphaBay was an example of DOJ carrying out one of the president’s top priorities.

After a barrage of questions regarding the Russia investigation and Trump's criticism of Sessions, reporters were asked if any of them had questions about the AlphaBay case. When not a single reporter raised a hand, the press conference was abruptly ended.  Sessions left the briefing room to reporters repeated shouted questions: “Attorney General Sessions, will you not resign?” One reported asked if Sessions feared being “seen as a zombie attorney general”. He made no answer.

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