Attorney General Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsGOP Senate candidates race to align with Trump House Dem jests: It’s ‘nice’ that not all male colleagues interrupt her Hatch: Trump’s Sessions attacks bad for presidency MORE has fallen so far from President Trump’s good graces that it is an open question whether he’ll be in the administration much longer.
In interviews and on Twitter, the president has ripped his own attorney general for recusing himself from any oversight of the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election.
Trump has called Sessions “beleaguered” and “very weak,” needling the former Alabama senator on a near-daily basis for weeks.
Because the two were once the closest allies, it’s been a shock to former colleagues of Sessions.
Here’s a look at how the Trump-Sessions relationship fell apart.
Aug. 21, 2015
Then-Sen. Sessions briefly took the mic at a Trump rally in the attorney general’s hometown of Mobile, Ala. to welcome the president and thank him for his work on immigration.
“I’m really impressed with your plan,” Sessions said, providing early support for the eventual GOP nominee at a time when he was battling more than a dozen other GOP rivals for the party’s presidential nomination.
“I know it will make a difference and this crowd shows a lot of people agree with that. Congratulations.”
Trump called Sessions “so great” and said he was “such a help.”
Feb. 28, 2016
Sessions becomes the first member of the Senate to publicly endorsed Trump at a rally in Alabama two days before Super Tuesday.
“I told Donald TrumpDonald TrumpChelsea Handler: Trump ‘scares the sh-t out of me’ GOP Senate candidates race to align with Trump Scottish authorities halt Trump golf course project MORE, this isn’t a campaign, this a movement,” he reportedly said while addressing a crowd of about 32,000. “I believe that the movement is afoot — that must not fade away. It has the potential to have the American people’s voices heard for a change.”
July 18, 2016
While speaking at the Republican National Convention, Sessions called Trump “a leader who will bring change.”
“He has the strength, the courage and the will to get it done,” he said. “He is attracting more and more Independents and Democrats through our movement. Donald Trump will kill Obama trade. Donald Trump will build the wall and Donald Trump will make American great again.”
Nov. 18, 2016
President-elect Trump announces his plan to nominate Sessions to be attorney general, calling him “a world-class legal mind.”
Feb. 9, 2017
Sessions is sworn in as attorney general one day after a 52-47 vote in the Senate. Trump says Sessions “will be a great protector of the people.”
“He’s trained better for it than anybody else,” Trump says. “The level of respect that he has throughout this country as a former prosecutor, not even to mention being a long-time U.S. senator, is absolutely incredible.”
Feb. 11, 2017
Trump issues an executive order to create a task force on violent crime, which Sessions will lead.
March 2, 2017
Sessions recuses himself from any oversight over the Russian probe after The Washington Post reports that he had conversations with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak that he failed to disclose to the Senate.
Hours before the announcement, Trump defends Sessions, saying he has “total” confidence in him.
Trump said that he wasn’t “wasn’t aware” of Sessions’ conversations with Kislyak, but that Sessions “probably did” speak truthfully to the Senate under oath. Trump also said he didn’t think Sessions should have to recuse himself.
March 4, 2017
Trump takes a jab at Sessions over the Kislyak news, saying that as a nominee, “he could have stated his response more accurately.”
The New York Times, citing people who spoke with the president, reports that Trump was irritated that Sessions hadn’t more carefully answered the questions he was asked under oath.
June 5, 2017
In a string of tweets, Trump criticizes the Justice Department for offering a “watered down” version of his immigration executive order that was blocked by the courts.
He says the Justice Department should have stuck with his original executive action instead of the one that was submitted to the Supreme Court.
July 19, 2017
In an interview with The New York Times, Trump said he never would have appointed Sessions to be the attorney general if he had known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said.
He also called his recusal “very unfair.”
“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” he reportedly said. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.”
July 22, 2017
Trump fires off a tweet claiming, “so many people are asking” why neither Sessions nor special counsel Robert Mueller are looking into the “many Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonHatch: Trump’s Sessions attacks bad for presidency Timeline: Trump’s relationship with Priebus Dems introduce act would authorize FBI Director to revoke WH staff security clearance MORE or Comey crimes,” referring to former FBI Director James Comey.
So many people are asking why isn’t the A.G. or Special Council looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 e-mails deleted?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017
July 24, 2017
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said he’s “very disappointed” with Sessions, but does not say whether he planned to fire him.
“I’m just looking at it,” he said. “I’ll just see. It’s a very important thing.”
Trump also said Sessions’s early endorsement of his campaign “wasn’t a great loyal thing.”
“I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers,” he says of Alabama. “But he was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, ’What do I have to lose?’ And he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement.”
July 25, 2017
Trump attacked Sessions via Twitter, calling his position on Hillary Clinton’s crimes “VERY weak.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
July 26, 2017
Trump continues to vent his frustrations with Sessions on Twitter, questioning why he didn’t fire acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
“Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got… big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!” he said in a string of tweets.”