Clashed President Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, clashed again Wednesday, this time over a newly announced investigation into alleged abuse of surveillance powers — a probe Trump himself endorsed for months.

During a morning set of unusual tweets, Trump protested Sessions’ decision to have the Justice Department’s inspector general investigate the handling of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, rather than the department’s prosecutors.

The president argued an IG probe will take too long, and added, “Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL.”

Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018

Hours later, Sessions fired back with a statement saying that “we have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary.

“As long as I am the Attorney General,” Sessions said, “I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”

Clashed President Trump and his attorney general

Trump has often criticized Sessions on a variety of fronts, including the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, a decision that led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Yet not since July has Trump launched such pointed broadsides against his attorney general, who was one of Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters.

Last summer, Sessions described Trump’s public rebukes “kind of hurtful,” but expressed his intent to remain on the job.

“He [Trump] has had a lot of criticism and he’s steadfast determined to get his job done,” Sessions said in a July interview with Fox News. “And he wants all of us to do our jobs, and that’s what I intend to do.’’

The attorney general acknowledged Tuesday that he had asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to review any possible surveillance abuses raised by House Republicans as part of a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Republicans allege that the FBI misused a secret surveillance court to get approval to wiretap former campaign adviser Carter Page.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News he understands where Trump is coming from about the organization of the investigation, but he doesn’t think the president should be criticizing his attorney general in public.

“Jeff Sessions is loyal to the President and he’s one of the first to support him, and he’s often in very difficult positions and I think he’s trying to reconcile as best as he can,” King said.

In another unusual tweet, Trump suggested he would punish California by not building sections of his anti-migration border wall in that state — even though California officials have long objected to the proposed wall in the first place.

Trump tweeted that “sections of the Wall that California wants built NOW will not be built until the whole Wall is approved.”

I have decided that sections of the Wall that California wants built NOW will not be built until the whole Wall is approved. Big victory yesterday with ruling from the courts that allows us to proceed. OUR COUNTRY MUST HAVE BORDER SECURITY!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018

The tweet came a day after a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration had the right to waive environmental laws in order to build the wall. The ruling came in a lawsuit with plaintiffs that include California’s attorney general.

 

Content retrieved from: https://www.usatoday.com/

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