President Trump has "no intention" of firing the special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, a senior spokeswoman for Trump told reporters traveling with the president Tuesday.
“While the president has the right to, he has no intention to do so,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said when asked whether Trump was considering firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Sanders also said that Trump saw part of Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions' testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Trump “thought that Atty. Gen. Sessions did a very good job and, in particular, was very strong on the point that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign,” she said.
The latest congressional hearing into Russia’s election meddling and the Trump administration’s handling of the subsequent FBI investigation probably did little to alter Americans’ views, which have been hardening on both sides.
But for an aspiring class of new senators, President Trump’s troubles have been good fortune, desired or not, offering continual turns on a very public stage for office-holders who may harbor a desire to succeed him.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California treated Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions as a defendant under her prosecutorial glare, to the point where she was admonished to ease up on interrupting him. Another Democrat, Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, got off one of the lines of the day when he laid a trap for Sessions and accused him of “impeding” the Senate investigation.
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions' testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee will be remembered for its friction, but there was one light moment.
Before Sessions swore his oath, his wife of 48 years embraced him. Mary Sessions sat just behind her husband in the hearing room as the attorney general endured more than two hours of pointed questions.
The average American might wilt under the extraordinary heat of senatorial questioning. Jeff Sessions, the nation's top law enforcement official and himself a former senator, is not an average American.
Parrying questions at Tuesday's hearing by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sessions exercised the guile that allowed him to rise to the positions of senator and then U.S. attorney general -- sometimes eating up questioners' allotted five minutes for questioning with perambulatory answers, and responding to pressure by flashing a disarming smile or a passionate defense of his honor.
"I recused myself from any investigation into the campaigns for president," Sessions said in his opening statement, "but I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations."
One of the most anticipated parts of Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions’ appearance Tuesday before a Senate committee was whether his statements would contradict the testimony of fired FBI Director James B. Comey.
Here’s a comparison of each man’s version of events.