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Sessions and the Self-Sabotaging Trump Administration

Rod Dreher marvels [1] at Trump’s attacks on Sessions:

Can anybody think of a time when a US president repeatedly attacked his Attorney General in public, and whose White House leaked that he was looking to fire the AG? If only six, seven months into the presidency, Trump is publicly turning on Jeff Sessions, of all people, who is safe?

I have written a few times about Trump’s knack for self-sabotage [2], but these latest episodes with Sessions are bizarre even for him. It has been clear for some time that his interest in loyalty refers only to how loyal other people are to him, but the strange thing about his treatment of Sessions is that he is denouncing him for doing something that was actually in Trump’s best interest. Regardless, Sessions has been as reliable a yes-man to Trump as the president could hope to have, and he was one of his very early high-profile supporters during the campaign. Very few people would put up with being publicly insulted and rebuked as Sessions has, but for whatever reason he isn’t resigning no matter how many excuses Trump gives him to leave. Beyond the sheer absurdity of it, attacking Sessions may be one of the few things that could alienate both Trump’s core supporters and Republicans in Congress. Trump is already the most unpopular president at this point in his presidency in the history of modern polling, and he seems determined to drive away the few allies he has left.

Other Trump appointees and supporters should take note of all this and get clear of this failing administration before he turns on them next.

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28 Comments To "Sessions and the Self-Sabotaging Trump Administration"

#1 Comment By Patrick O’Connor On July 25, 2017 @ 11:09 am

Sessions may feel like he is part of a thin slurry wall that, like the one at TWC holding back the Hudson River, is keeping the nation from inundation. Was is frightening is that McMaster and Mathis might feel the same.

#2 Comment By Uncle Billy On July 25, 2017 @ 11:15 am

Trump seems determined to alienate everyone, including his most loyal supporters. He is making Government into a TV reality show: “You’re fired!”

Trump does have some decent people in the cabinet, so he needs to shut up and let them do their job.

#3 Comment By Jack On July 25, 2017 @ 11:32 am

Knowing what we now know about how Trump treats his own loyalists, no sane person would wish to get on board this sinking ship.

It will be interesting to see how Republican Senators react when Trump presents them with his new nominees for Secretary of State [Jared Kushner] and Attorney General [Jay Sekulow].

#4 Comment By Centralist On July 25, 2017 @ 11:37 am

His treatment of Sessions though makes me wonder why he seems so loyal to Flynn.

#5 Comment By david On July 25, 2017 @ 11:51 am

Sessions understands the importance of sticking around as AG because of the immigration issue

#6 Comment By CJ On July 25, 2017 @ 12:12 pm

Centralist- Flynn didn’t do anything Trump considered to be disloyal. Lying to Pence probably didnt bother him much.

#7 Comment By rayray On July 25, 2017 @ 12:21 pm

The only person who is more frightening than Trump is Sessions.

That said, all this is being driven by the fact that the Mueller investigation is grinding very close to what everyone already knows: the Trump campaign, because venal and ignorant, colluded with the Russians – and largely because of Trump business interests with the Russians dating back some years when Trump had been abandoned by all sane investors and he was about to go under AGAIN…

Also – the Mueller investigation is learning that the much discussed and then dismissed oppo dossier is largely accurate.

Trump is scared out of his mind that either Mueller will come upon the embarrassing footage or that Putin, who is not the friend that Trump so badly wanted, will leak it on his own.

#8 Comment By John Gruskos On July 25, 2017 @ 12:25 pm

“attacking Sessions may be one of the few things that could alienate both Trump’s core supporters and Republicans in Congress”

Excellent point.

Sessions is sticking around despite the insults because he desperately wants the Trump administration to succeed, and rightly so. The stakes are very high for the well being of the American people and for European Christian civilization as a whole, on immigration, foreign policy, trade, court appointments etc.

If he is fired so be it.

If the Trump administration is a failure despite the best efforts of Jeff Sessions, the time to quit will be in 2019, in time to support the challenger who replaces Trump in the 2020 Republican Party primary.

#9 Comment By JN On July 25, 2017 @ 12:29 pm

At this point, maybe Sessions is refusing to resign just to piss off Trump.

#10 Comment By Midsummer Nights On July 25, 2017 @ 12:42 pm

@Patrick O’Connor : “Sessions may feel like he is part of a thin slurry wall that, like the one at TWC holding back the Hudson River, is keeping the nation from inundation. Was is frightening is that McMaster and Mathis might feel the same.”

Re McMaster and Mathis, if that were true, they wouldn’t be advising Trump to send US troops back to Afghanistan. No one committed to preventing America from being “inundated” would give such incredibly stupid, self-destructive advice.

McMaster and Mathis are part of the problem. They resemble “adults” outwardly, but inwardly they inhabit a child’s fantasy world, one in which America’s urgent domestic problems don’t exist, one where we can afford to prance around in the Middle East chasing scary monsters for all eternity while Bibi Netanyahu squats on our shoulders roaring “Simon says …”.

Tillerson and Sessions are the only real “adults” around Trump. The rest are courtiers and Neverlanders.

#11 Comment By CharleyCarp On July 25, 2017 @ 12:44 pm

The Attorney General cannot resign just because the President is showing himself to be unhinged and self-centered to the point of unfitness of the office: doing so would only demonstrate the folly of supporting him in the first place. The pathetic weakness of this man was always apparent — you can’t quit over it now.

He no doubt that the same self-regard every politician must have — the country needs me — but the fact is that a replacement could be found who would pursue all the same policies. It’s in fact possible to conjure up a replacement who will pursue most of the dame policies, but not those which will undoubtedly cause trouble in rural America (which is not clamoring for a return of the Drug War).

#12 Comment By One Man On July 25, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

“At this point, maybe Sessions is refusing to resign just to piss off Trump.”

This was my thought, as well. I’ve become a big Sessions fan, as long as he doesn’t resign. Why give Trump something Trump obviously wants?

I’m not yet tired of all the winning.

#13 Comment By bkh On July 25, 2017 @ 2:15 pm

Trump does not deserve an AG like Sessions. Sessions was probably just as fooled like everyone else by the Trump family dynasty trying to instill itself in DC. I, too, hope Sessions doesn’t leave without a fight.

#14 Comment By dee On July 25, 2017 @ 2:28 pm

Sessions is going away. Trump wants him to resign because firing is such bad optics. Apparently when the senate goes on recess Trump can then replace Sessions and that recess replacement won’t need a confirmation hearing until something like 2019. That replacements sole requirement will be shutting down Mueller. So this is just a ham-handed attempt to make the inevitable smell a little better. Then Trump can finally get on with his agenda (self/family aggrandizement) and the only group capable of stopping this (gop congress) can get on with their agenda (donor fealty). what a nice system of checks and balances. someday this will all have to be reworked. likely after some kind of upheavel.

#15 Comment By Chris Fisher On July 25, 2017 @ 3:41 pm

“Beyond the sheer absurdity of it, attacking Sessions may be one of the few things that could alienate both Trump’s core supporters and Republicans in Congress.”

No. They won’t abandon him. They will never abandon him, because they don’t give a damn.

All they care about is getting their tax cuts, their ACA repeal, conservative SCOTUS justices that will get rid of Roe v. Wade and gay marriage, and getting rid of all those pesky environmental and worker protection regulations.

They want their Galt’s Gulch and they will obediently praise and pamper “Dear Leader” to get it.

#16 Comment By Centralist On July 25, 2017 @ 4:17 pm

CJ-Fair point.

#17 Comment By One Man On July 25, 2017 @ 4:28 pm

“All they care about is getting their tax cuts, their ACA repeal, conservative SCOTUS…”

I agree, but they don’t even care much about those. They love Trump because he stuck it to the libtards, the media, and the brown people. His election win is the only win in their adult lives, for many, and you can never take that away. Indeed, take it away, and they have nothing, so they will always love him.

#18 Comment By Mike Mauney On July 25, 2017 @ 4:36 pm

Someday some Trump supporters will realize he is a textbook narcissistic personality disorder. Knowing this, what Trump has done and what he is likely to do is understandable. Short of some act of God removing Trump from our national life, this will not end well and the ending will take down the Republican party for the foreseeable future.

#19 Comment By Dan A. Davis On July 25, 2017 @ 5:05 pm

“Adults”? In Trump’s cabinet? Do you mean all the toadies trying to outdo themselves heaping praise on Stalin – I mean Trump – at the “Cabinet Meeting”? Next, Stalin/Trump will have to install bells to let them know when it’s safe to stop clapping after he speaks an applause line.
They’re ALL a pitiful collection of moral rejects who will do anything for a hint of getting near “the levers of power”. Not a Conservative among them. Not one. (To be fair, if anyone thinks Conservatives act that way, they probably don’t understand the term.)
There are ALWAYS suck-ups who are on the make, who will gladly fill any open position in the Trump Circus de Soil.

#20 Comment By Against The Grain On July 25, 2017 @ 5:45 pm

“Not a Conservative among them. Not one. (To be fair, if anyone thinks Conservatives act that way, they probably don’t understand the term.)”

As recently as 2015 Kushner was described as a “lifelong Democrat”.

#21 Comment By Joe F On July 25, 2017 @ 7:08 pm

@Dee-Trump can only do a recess appointment protected until 2019 if Sessions resigns, not if he is fired. Now you see why Trump is pushing him so hard

#22 Comment By MS Davis On July 25, 2017 @ 7:33 pm

Jeff Sessions is good people and Trump will lose a lot of us if he fires him. He’ll lose me, that’s for sure.

#23 Comment By Thaomas On July 25, 2017 @ 8:04 pm

Sessions should stay but repent and stop his drug war, his war on voting rights, his war on police reform, his war on immigrants.

#24 Comment By rayray On July 25, 2017 @ 9:09 pm

@Thaomas
Agreed. Other than everything he is actually doing, Sessions seems like a great guy. And other than the fact that it exposes, for the thousandth time, just how ignorant, vain, disorganized and pointless is our Chief Executive…I’d say good riddance.

#25 Comment By sam On July 25, 2017 @ 10:05 pm

It was KING KONG or THE GODZILA . I ,for one will never regret to have voted for the king kong. And if we have a war with Russia we will need a draft. Russia is not a small 3 world country (and we have problems with those).With the establishment getting closer and closer to some armed conflict with the russkies the king kong somehow seems the only grown up in the room.As strange as it seems.

#26 Comment By O’Brien On July 26, 2017 @ 12:06 am

“@Dee-Trump can only do a recess appointment protected until 2019 if Sessions resigns, not if he is fired. Now you see why Trump is pushing him so hard” Jeff Sessions knows this as well as we do and that is the reason he will not resign. I never thought I would live to see the day when I hoped a die hard segregationist would have the courage of his convictions and do the right thing. Strange bedfellows politics makes.

#27 Comment By Adriana I Pena On July 26, 2017 @ 1:31 pm

Sessions knew before he got aboard the Trump ship that Trump screwed everybody who ever trusted him. He chose to trust Trump, anyway.

Or, as Scott Adams put in as an example of illogical behavior

“His previous four wives have died in mysterious circumstances. I hope to marry him.”

#28 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 27, 2017 @ 2:50 pm

I suspect that the AG is a big boy having waded through mountains of political intrigue.

Now the intrigue concerns himself, I doubt there’s a sword to end his career. Unless there is more here than meets the eye . . .