Following President Donald Trump’s criticism that his attorney general Jeff Sessions “never took control” of the Justice Department, Sessions responded by saying that he won’t allow it to be influenced by politics.
“I put in an attorney general who never took control of the Justice Department. Jeff Sessions, never took control of the Justice Department. It’s sort of an incredible thing,” the President said in a Fox News interview on Thursday.
Trump’s frequent criticism of Sessions has mainly been caused by the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Trump added that he had been told even by his “enemies” that the attorney general should have informed him about his decision prior to making it.
So far, Sessions had remained mainly silent in face of constant criticism by President Trump, but Thursday’s comments made in a Fox News interview finally triggered a response from him.
“While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action,” the attorney general said in a statement. “However, no nation has a more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement investigators and prosecutors than the United States.”
Sessions further added that the day he was sworn in he took control of the Justice Department, which he says, “is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President’s agenda — one that protects the safety and security and rights of the American people, reduces violent crime, enforces our immigration laws, promotes economic growth, and advances religious liberty.”
The attorney general then expressed pride at what the department has accomplished in terms of advancing the rule of law.
However, the President didn’t stop there and went on to attack others at the Justice Department as well. “Everybody sees what’s going on in the Justice Department, I always put justice now with quotes,” Trump said during the Fox News interview.
However, he stopped short of saying whether he planned to fire Sessions or his deputy Rod Rosenstein, which many have speculated may happen.