Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., weighed in on the public feud between President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying Sessions made the right choice in recusing himself from the Russian investigation, but also that Trump was justified in his frustration over the recusal.
“I think Jeff Sessions made the right decision in recusing himself,” Gowdy said Tuesday on Fox News. “And I also understand the president’s frustration at the decisions and actions of Attorney General Sessions that led to him having to recuse himself.”
“That’s where my focus is: The president is frustrated that he picked an attorney general that had to recuse himself,” Gowdy said.
Sessions recused himself in March from any investigation related to the 2016 presidential election after it was revealed he met twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the campaign.
Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said the recusal was the right thing to do given the circumstances, but that Sessions should have disclosed the conversations before accepting a nomination from Trump.
“The recusal was based on the attorney general’s failure to recall some meetings. So that’s what the recusal was based on,” Gowdy said.
“The recusal was appropriate, but I do understand the president’s frustration: ‘I wish you had told me this when you were interviewing for the job, perhaps I would have picked someone else,’” Gowdy said.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 25, 2017
Trump told The New York Times last week that he would have never appointed Sessions to serve as attorney general if he had known the former Alabama senator would recuse himself from the Russian election interference investigations.
Since then, Trump has aggressively criticized Sessions for not using his power as attorney general to look into former Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s alleged crimes.
On Monday, Trump questioned why the “beleaguered” Sessions wasn’t looking into “Crooked Hillary’s crimes & Russia relations.”
Trump’s Tuesday morning tweetstorm included a jab against Sessions for his “VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
Sessions said Thursday he will continue to serve as attorney general despite the mounting pressure from the president.
“I have the honor of serving as attorney general,” Sessions said during a news conference. “And I plan to continue to do so, as long as that is appropriate.”
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