Trump's Derision of His Own Attorney General Raises Alarms; Cruz Dismisses Short List Rumor

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's public derision of his own attorney general prompted discomfort bordering on alarm Tuesday in Congress, with the president showing no sign of relenting -- or of ending the standoff by firing Jeff Sessions.Trump's attacks are extraordinary. Presidents don't generally turn on members of their cabinet, nor torment them on Twitter or pressure aides they can remove at will."I'm very disappointed with the attorney general but we will see what happens. Time will tell. Time will tell," Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden during an appearance with the Lebanese prime minister.He sidestepped repeated questions about whether he is considering firing Sessions, how long he will allow Sessions to remain on the job if he doesn't take the hint and resign, and why he has chosen to pressure his attorney general rather than take decisive action.Firing a cabinet member is well within a president's authority, although the political implications would be huge in this case. Critics would seize on that as yet another sign of Trump's eagerness to downplay Russia's interference in U.S. elections.He didn't shy from reiterating complaints he has leveled openly against Sessions, however. Those stem from the former Alabama senator's decision to recuse himself from the Justice Department probe of Russian meddling in the U.S. election and any contacts involving the Trump campaign. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein then named former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel, unleashing a potentially far-reaching inquiry."I am disappointed in the attorney general. He should not have recused himself almost immediately after he took office," Trump said, adding that if that was on Sessions' mind, "I would have quite simply picked somebody else.... It's unfair to the presidency. That's the way I feel."Sessions was among Trump's most ardent allies during the campaign and, for months, his only Senate supporter. It was that loyalty that earned the plum appointment to run the Justice Department. But whatever loyalty and affection Trump felt toward Sessions has very obviously melted away.In the last two days he has called Sessions "beleaguered" and accused him of taking a "VERY weak" approach to the alleged crimes of his Democratic rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton.  Continue reading...

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