Vice President Mike Pence praised Jeff Sessions Wednesday, contradicting President Donald Trump who has criticized the attorney general on numerous occasions, The Hill reports.
Speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill, Pence said the following.
“I hold Jeff Sessions in the highest regard. I appreciate his service to the nation.”
While Sessions is known for being one of the first congressmen to publicly express support for then-candidate Trump, a rift between the attorney general and the POTUS has since occurred and appears to be widening.
Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Jeff Sessions, most often via Twitter, calling the attorney general out for his alleged inability to take control over the Justice Department. The president has notably slammed Sessions for refusing to intervene in Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, in a recent interview with Fox & Friends‘ Ainsley Earhardt, Trump slammed Sessions and the Department of Justice.
“What kind of a man is this?!” the POTUS asked, referring to Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe, adding that he had only given Sessions the job due to what he perceived to be loyalty. That statement from President Trump seemed to have been the final straw for Sessions, who issued a rare public statement, vowing that, while he is attorney general, the Department of Justice “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”
Similarly, President Trump’s frustration with his own attorney general appears to be growing. Some Republican lawmakers – like Senator Lindsey Graham, for instance – have indicated that President Trump could fire and replace Sessions after this fall’s midterms.
“The President’s entitled to having an attorney general he has faith in, somebody that is qualified for the job…clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn’t have the confidence of the President,” Graham said, according to CNN.
With lawmakers like Graham, who is also a key Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggesting that the president is close to firing Sessions, and with Trump himself clearly appearing to be more and more frustrated with the attorney general as each day goes by, Sessions’ firing seems imminent – almost guaranteed.
Therefore, Vice President Mike Pence’s most recent comments about the attorney general come as a surprise and perhaps out of character.
In Fear: Trump in the White House, journalist Bob Woodward, according to the New York Times, described Pence as “a glorified golf caddy who doesn’t want to rock the boat lest Trump tweet something mean about him.”
According to the same book, Trump called Sessions “mentally retarded” behind his back, mocking his Alabama accent.