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Trump: I might fire Sessions because he was only hired for his personal loyalty

It seems so long ago that the president claimed he only hires "the best people."

Donald Trump on Fox & Friends on Thursday.
Donald Trump on Fox & Friends on Thursday. CREDIT: Fox News screenshot.

Still reeling from the twin embarrassments of his campaign chairman being convicted on eight criminal counts and his former executive vice president and special counsel pleading guilty to eight more, President Donald Trump took aim at his own handpicked Justice Department leadership in a Fox & Friends interview aired Thursday morning. In the interview, he indicated that he might well fire his attorney general for being too impartial.

Host Ainsley Earhardt asked about rumors that Trump planned to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after the November midterm elections. In response, Trump unloaded on both.

“I wanted to stay uninvolved,” he claimed. “But when everybody sees what’s going on in the Justice Department, I always put ‘Justice’ now with quotes.”

“It’s a very, very sad day,” he continued, lamenting that Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after he made false statements in his confirmation hearing. Trump lamented that unnamed political opponents agree that Sessions should have warned him in advance of being nominated that he would make false statements during his confirmation hearing, get caught, and need to recuse himself. “Even my enemies say that ‘Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in.’ He took the job and then he said I’m going to recuse myself. I said, ‘what kind of a man is this?'”

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Trump, who had campaigned on a promise to hire only “the best people” for his administration and to “drain the swamp” of political corruption, then admitted that he picked Sessions not for his qualifications or competence but as a thank-you for his perceived loyalty.

“The only reason I gave him the job, because I felt loyalty. He was an original supporter. He was on the campaign.”

The Department of Justice’s official mission is “To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”