Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday issued a statement firing back at President Donald Trump.
Trump in the morning appeared on Fox News and said during an interview that Sessions “never took control” of the Justice Department.
Sessions later issued a statement rebuking the President’s claims.
“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. However, no nation has a more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement investigators and prosecutors than the United States,” Sessions said, CNN reported.
JUST IN: Jeff Sessions fires back at President Trump: “I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in… While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced” https://t.co/ulbs5R20nC pic.twitter.com/puTr0qQdZg
— CNN (@CNN) August 23, 2018
“I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which 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. I am proud to serve with them and proud of the work we have done in successfully advancing the rule of law,” he added.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says his Justice Department won’t be “improperly influenced by political considerations: https://t.co/QltCTK50vh
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) August 23, 2018
Trump had said earlier on Fox: “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 has been critical of Sessions in the past, and the Attorney General’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.
This week, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted and found guilty on 18 counts – including tax fraud charges, a charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and bank fraud charges. He could face up to 80 years in prison.
And, Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to election finance violations and possibly implicated the President, claiming he made hush payments because he was allegedly directed by Trump to do so.
Both men were charged based on findings stemming from the Russia investigation, which Trump has long-called a “witch hunt.”
Trump tweeted this week: “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. ‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!”
I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018