Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned President Donald Trump this week not to take action against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The advice follows a damning interview the President gave in which he said he regretted appointing Sessions to his position. Trump was upset that Session had recused himself over the Russian investigation.
Trump later suggested that Sessions was not working hard enough to investigate Hillary Clinton.
Speaking to Manu Raju of CNN Thursday, Graham said:
“I’m 100% behind Jeff Sessions. … If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay.
“This effort to basically marginalize and humiliate the attorney general is not going over well in the Senate. If you believe Jeff Sessions should be fired, use the power you have and accept the consequences.”
Graham isn’t alone in his condemnation of Trump’s public feud with Sessions. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) all expressed public support for Sessions.
Trump has not yet said whether he intends to fire the Attorney General, but some speculate that he’s waiting to do so until the congressional recess next month. During the recess period, Trump could appoint a replacement to the position without Senate confirmation. The new AG would be able to remain in the position through 2018.
Graham was also critical of Trump’s suggestion that he might move to quash special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential ties between the Kremlin and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Graham told Capitol Hill reporters:
“Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency, unless Mueller did something wrong.”
NBC reported Thursday that Graham and his Democratic colleagues were working on legislation that would protect Mueller from being fired.
If Sessions resigned, it would be only the latest in a series of recent West Wing resignations. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus resigned this week after clashing with Trump’s recently appointed communications director, Anthony Scaramucci. Last Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer stepped down in response to Scaramucci’s appointment.
The backlash Trump is facing from his own party is yet another self-inflicted wound on what appears to be an endlessly masochistic administration. If Sessions leaves or is dismissed, it would mean the loss of one of the few experienced political actors in Trump’s inner circle. And if Mueller is dismissed, calls for impeachment would likely accelerate — even from Trump’s fellow Republicans.
Whatever happens, Trump’s uncanny ability to make enemies will ensure the White House remains a chaotic and deeply divided place.
Featured image via YouTube.