President Donald Trump and his advisers are floating possible replacements for Attorney General Jeff Sessions — and the list includes Senator Ted Cruz,The Washington Post reports.
Cruz and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are reportedly among the candidates Trump’s team is considering to replace Sessions, though Giuliani said earlier in the day that he’s not being considered.
Trump has repeatedly said that he is disappointed by Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the probe into ties between the Trump administration and Russia, saying in an interview last week that he would have never hired Sessions if he knew he would recuse himself.
Trump also slammed Sessions in a tweet Monday morning, asking why our “beleaguered A.G.” wasn’t investigating ties between Hillary Clinton and Russia. Giuliani denied reports that he was up for Sessions’s spot earlier Monday and defended the attorney general’s decision to pull himself from the probe, saying it was “the right decision”.
Trump associates are viewing a possible Sessions ousting as a step toward firing special counsel Robert Mueller, according to the Post. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to his post and has said he would not fire him, but a new attorney general would have the power to do so.
Trump left the option open to fire Mueller in an interview with The New York Times last week. Cruz and Trump sparred often on the campaign trail when both were seeking the GOP nomination for president.
But the Texas senator on Monday night denied that the Trump administration is considering him as a possibility for attorney general, saying he is focused on his position in the Senate.
“Jeff Sessions is a friend and a strong conservative. I was proud to vote to confirm Jeff and to vigorously defend his confirmation, and I’m deeply gratified that we have a principled conservative like Jeff Sessions serving as Attorney General,” Cruz said in a statement, as reported by NBC News.
“The stories being reported in the media tonight are false. My focus is and will remain on fighting every day to defend 28 million Texans in the U.S. Senate.” Cruz said.