President Donald Trump and his top White House aides are discussing the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a Washington Post report.
Sources told the Post the possibility of booting Sessions is “seen by some Trump associates as potentially being part of a strategy to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and end his investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.”
On Monday, Trump took his latest swipe at Sessions on Twitter, describing him as “beleaguered,” reports Newsday’s Emily Ngo.
“So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillary’s crimes & Russia relations?” Trump asked in a Monday morning tweet.
While Sessions was an early campaign supporter of Trump, he has been on the outs with the president, who told The New York Times last week he would have “picked somebody else” had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia probe.
‘They need to speak’
Asked by reporters if Sessions’ days in the Trump cabinet were numbered, newly appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci declined to say.
“They need to sit down face to face and have a reconciliation and a discussion of the future,” Scaramucci said of Sessions and Trump. “They need to speak and determine what the future of the relationship looks like.”
Rudy Giuliani, once in consideration for the attorney general post — and possibly in consideration again — defended Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Department of Justice’s Russia investigation.
Giuliani told CNN that Sessions “made the right decision under the rules of the Justice Department.”
The former New York City mayor also a dismissed a report by Axios that claims Trump is once again eyeing Giuliani for the A.G. role.
Kushner: ‘I did not collude’
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a trusted top aide, said Monday after meeting behind closed doors with Senate investigators that he had no improper contacts with Russian officials and did not collude with Moscow during the 2016 election.
“The record and documents I have voluntarily provided will show that all of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign,” Kushner said outside the West Wing in a rare public statement. “Let me be very clear: I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.”
The senior White House adviser met for two hours on Capitol Hill with Senate Intelligence Committee staff to discuss four conversations he had with Kremlin or Kremlin-linked contacts during the campaign and transition, reports Newsday’s Ngo.
Kushner is slated to meet with House investigators on Tuesday.
Repeal vote on deck
The U.S. Senate is slated to vote Tuesday on a measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and Trump spent Monday urging Republicans to fall in line behind the repeal.
“For the last seven years, Republicans have been united in standing up for Obamacare’s victims. Remember repeal and replace, repeal and replace, they kept saying it over and over again. Every Republican running for office promised immediate relief from this disastrous law,” Trump said during a speech at the White House. “We, as a party, must fulfill that solemn promise to the voters of this country to repeal and replace.”
Trump also took to Twitter to scold those Republicans balking at approving a repeal without first securing a replacement bill, and he took his appeal to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, giving the 35,000 scouts on hand a firsthand civics lesson.
The president jokingly told Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price at the event he’d be fired if he didn’t rally enough Republicans to secure a repeal vote.
“He better get them [the votes],” Trump said. “Otherwise I’ll say, ‘Tom you’re fired!’ ”
Trump heading to LI
Trump will visit Suffolk County on Friday to discuss the violent and often deadly MS-13 street gang, Rep. Peter King said Monday night.
King (R-Seaford) said the president will discuss law enforcement issues with a focus on the notorious MS-13 gang’s deadly Long Island component, which is responsible for 11 killings in the past year, authorities have said.
Read more from Newsday’s David M. Schwartz and Ngo here.
What else is happening
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is said to be considering stepping down from his post, according to what sources have told CNN.
- Democrats unveiled their new economic agenda, “A Better Deal,” which looks to win back working-class voters who sided with Trump and the GOP in 2016.
- Trump’s lawyers are asking a federal appeals court to toss a lawsuit filed by protesters who were assaulted at a Trump campaign rally in Kentucky last year.