Donald Trump disrespects Jeff Sessions by calling him “Mr. Magoo.”
It’s no secret that Donald Trump demands loyalty above all. Nothing makes Donald Trump madder, or feel more betrayed, than a person doing anything he perceives as disloyal. Jeff Sessions seems to have fallen into that category.
Sessions was the first Senator to endorse Trump during the 2016 campaign. Sessions was as much a biggot as Trump, so that may have been Session’s reason for endorsing the Republican that most viewed as a joke during the 2016 campaign. Sessions was accused in 1986 of having called a black assistant US district attorney “boy” and of suggesting a white lawyer representing black clients was a “race traitor”. He was also said to have quipped that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “okay, until I learned they smoked pot”. Mr Sessions is on the record as an opponent of marriage equality and hate crime protections, and as a supporter of mass deportation and Mr Trump’s proposed Muslim ban. He has described the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a landmark civil rights law, as a “piece of intrusive legislation.”
Sessions, like virtually everyone else involved in the Trump campaign had ties to Russia. When Sessions resigned he cited a “pretty reasonable” Department of Justice regulation that forbids DOJ officials from investigating campaigns of which they were a part. Sessions was an early and ardent advocate for then candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 US election, championing his platform on immigration and a host of other issues.
Ethically, the attorney general is not allowed to serve on the investigating committee if he had “a close identification with an elected official, candidate, political party or campaign organization arising from service as a principal advisor or official.” A personal relationship “means a close and substantial connection of the type normally viewed as likely to induce partiality.”
Sessions came under scrutiny for failing to disclose meetings he had with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US, during the 2016 campaign. Following the revelations, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, which is examining whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor. It was impossible to sell the narrative that Sessions was not involved as Sessions served as chairman of the campaign’s national security advisory board. Even Karl Rove on Fox News described why Sessions had “no other recourse” than to recuse himself.
For some time now Trump has stated unequivocally that he would not have chosen Sessions as his attorney general if Sessions had disclosed that he intended to recuse himself in the Russia investigation. Trump has now been even more adversarial towards Sessions. When asked if he planned to remove Sessions Trump simply responded:
“We’ll see what happens. A lot of people have asked me to do that. And I guess I study history, and I say I just want to leave things alone, but it was very unfair what he did.”
The fact that Trump is reiterating his attacks on Sessions at this time, may be an indication that Trump perceives that Sessions is responsible for the Op Ed in the New York Times. Certainly Jeff Sessions has been identified, based on the language used, as one possible author of the opinion piece. He gave a speech to the Des Moines Rotary Club that’s very close to the op-ed on three of the five dimensions — optimism, certainty, and commonality — and another in July 2017 to the National District Attorneys Association that’s close on two dimensions. Certainly that would explain Trump’s total humiliation of Jeff Session,
and his previous praise for Sessions as a “brilliant” attorney general in Alabama. Sessions was one of the “brilliant” people Trump previously praised.
Sessions may be Trump’s kryptonite. He is a person previously identified by Trump as brilliant and now Trump can’t condemn him enough to overcome Session’s ability to undermine the President.