Jeff Sessions fires back after Trump tweets about his Russia investigation recusal
President Trump reiterated his support Friday night for former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville in Alabama’s Republican Senate runoff.
In the same tweet, Trump also criticized Tuberville’s opponent, former Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, prompting Sessions to reply that Trump was “damn fortunate” that Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.
Trump described Tuberville — a political newcomer — as “the true supporter of our #MAGA agenda!”
Trump’s tweet also included a link to Tuberville’s fundraising website.
Trump first endorsed Tuberville on March 10 after the former coach won a narrow plurality of votes in the GOP primary. Tuberville and Sessions, the runner-up, advanced to the runoff because no candidate received a majority of the votes. The runoff has been rescheduled for July 14 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump’s message was part of his retweet of a Tuberville message from last Sunday in which Tuberville said Sessions had thrown Trump “to the wolves with the Mueller appointment.”
Soon after being confirmed as attorney general by the Senate, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation that was eventually led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. The investigation lasted over a year with two principal findings: Though the Trump campaign welcomed Russia’s interference to help Trump win, there was no clear evidence of a coordinated effort; and the Mueller team declined to assess whether the president obstructed justice.
Trump repeatedly attacked Sessions for his recusal before finally dismissing him in November 2018.
Last week, Sessions wrote an open letter to Alabama voters saying he had no choice but to recuse himself.
On Friday, he responded to Trump’s tweet, saying his recusal from the investigation was required by law.
.@realdonaldtrump Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law. I did my duty & you're damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don't dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do. https://t.co/QQKHNAgmiE— Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) May 23, 2020
Trump tweeted back at Sessions saying he should “drop out of the race.”
“Jeff, you had your chance & you blew it,” Trump tweeted. “Recused yourself ON DAY ONE (you never told me of a problem), and ran for the hills. You had no courage, & ruined many lives.”
In public speeches before declaring his Senate candidacy and during the campaign, Sessions voiced support for Trump and his policies.
As recently as Thursday, Sessions retweeted a Trump message critical of China, saying in part, “@realDonaldTrump is absolutely right.”
The Trump reelection campaign also sent a letter to Sessions’ campaign in March, insisting that the former longtime Alabama senator stop making connections to himself and Trump.
A public poll released earlier this week showed Tuberville leading Sessions by more than 20 points.
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