Attorney General Jeff Sessions is one of the few Cabinet members who will not attend an inner-circle legislative meeting hosted by President Donald Trump this weekend, fueling speculation about growing tensions between the two men.
Meanwhile, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who will attend the meeting at Camp David, indicated this week that he’d be willing to lead the Justice Department, according to a report.
Pruitt has been telling close associates at the EPA that he would be up to fill Sessions’ shoes if Trump gives him the boot, one person familiar with the matter told Politico.
“Pruitt is very interested,” the person told the outlet. “He has expressed that on a number of occasions.”
Neither the White House nor the Justice Department responded to requests for comment from the New York Daily News.
But a Justice Department spokesman shed some light on why Sessions won’t attend the Camp David meet.
“We weren’t invited,” the spokesman told reporters Friday afternoon.
The relationship between Trump and Sessions has reportedly soured in recent months. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Trump dispatched his chief counsel to try to persuade Sessions to not recuse himself from the Russia investigation last year. But Sessions didn’t budge, and ended up recusing himself, sparking outrage from Trump.
Trump’s weekend meeting will focus on national security, immigration and economic legislation priorities for this year, according to a White House statement. In addition to Pruitt, the sit-down will be attended by senior House and Senate Republicans as well as a majority of Trump’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Sessions’ absence is particularly conspicuous since an attorney general is usually deeply involved in the issues that will be discussed during the Camp David rendezvous.
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