The Trump media circus moved into top gear last night as President Donald Trump launched an astonishing attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an exclusive interview in the Oval office with the New York Times — the paper which has been subject to the most virulent attacks by Trump.
President Trump said he would never have appointed Sessions had he known he would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision “very unfair to the president.”
It was a a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, said the Times.
Trump complained that Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said.
The President also accused James Comey, the F.B.I. director he fired in May, of trying to leverage a dossier of compromising material to keep his job.
Trump criticised both the acting F.B.I. director who has been filling in since Comey’s dismissal and the deputy attorney general who recommended it. And he took on Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel now leading the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.
Trump claimed Mueller was running an office “rife with conflicts of interest” and warned investigators against delving into matters too far afield from Russia.
Asked if Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Trump said, “I would say yes.” He would not say what he would do about it. “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.”
Also in the Times, another story revealed that Deutsche Bank are reviewing details of hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to. Trump’s businesses through the bank’s private wealth management unit,
Banking regulators want to know if the loans might expose the bank to heightened risks, according to three people briefed on the review who were not authorized to speak publicly, said the Times.
Separately, the Times reported, Deutsche Bank has been in contact with federal investigators about the Trump accounts, according to two people briefed on the matter. And the bank is expecting to eventually have to provide information to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Trump never said he would order the Justice Department to fire Mueller, nor would he outline circumstances under which he might do so.
The interview grabbed the attention of TV with MSNBC leading the way.
Commentators were flabbergasted at Trump’s actions in a day when the health care debacle was causing dismay across the country. The news tha John McCain was suffering from brain cancer also caused dismay across the country.
Rachel Maddow on MSNBC said the unprecedented attack on Sessions would almost certainly force him to resign and other MSNBC commentators agreed. But expectations that his resignation would come last night failed to materialise.