Russian envoy, at heart of U.S. investigations, ends tenure in Washington

Rufina Vignone
Luglio 24, 2017

The President also blasted a Post story on Friday morning that said Trump had asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself. "We love this job, we love this department, and I plan to continue to do so as long as that's appropriate".

In the Times interview, Trump blasted both Sessions and Rosenstein, focusing his anger on what led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is now investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Sessions initially didn't disclose those meetings at all during his confirmation hearings to be attorney general and then, once he did disclose them, said the conversations had nothing to do with the Trump campaign.

"When Mr. Sessions recused himself, the president said he was irritated to learn where his deputy was from", the New York Times article said. Trump said the length of the discussion "could be 15 minutes" and that a topic included "Russian adoption". The Republican president also noted Rosenstein's connection to Democratic Baltimore and that McCabe's wife took money from a leading Democrat during a political campaign.

"What we're not willing to do is blow up the Affordable Care Act", he said.

"We serve him right now", Sessions said. "I was proud to be here yesterday, I'm proud to be here today, I'll be proud to work here tomorrow", he said.

He said that while he has a problem with rollbacks Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pursuing to Obama-era reforms to things like mandatory minimum sentences, he said he didn't have a problem with Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation probe. The subjects of his ire varied but the primary target was the Washington Post exclusive about Jeff Sessions' meeting with the Russian ambassador. He spent the following years as the first secretary and then councillor at the Soviet Embassy in Washington before returning to Moscow in 1989, where he took a succession of senior jobs at the Foreign Ministry.

The senator said he was unsure about when that should happen and whether it should be before or after the committee hears closed-door testimony from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr., the president's son.

Sessions recused himself in March from the Russian Federation criminal investigation.

He added that the deputy, Rosenstein, was someone who Sessions "hardly knew" and was "from Baltimore".

"I don't think we're under investigation", the Times quoted Trump as saying. "So, he's from Baltimore".

Trump fired Comey in May and later said he had the FBI's Russian Federation investigation in mind when he did it.

Will any of this spur a robust warning from Republicans to leave Rosenstein in place and allow Mueller to complete his job?

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