White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said today that President Trump has "been very clear" about his feelings about Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
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"He's obviously disappointed but also wants the attorney general to continue to focus on the things that the attorney general does. He wants him to lead the Department of Justice. He wants to do that strongly. He wants him to focus on things like immigration, leaks and a number of other issues," she told reporters at the White House.
She added, "You can be disappointed in someone but still want them to continue to do their job, and that's where they are."
Sanders confirmed that Sessions was at the White House today "for other meetings" but did not meet with Trump.
Sessions' chief of staff, Jody Hunt, recently informed White House chief of staff Reince Priebus that Sessions has no plans to resign from his post, despite growing pressure from Trump, a U.S. official told ABC News.
The president recently called Sessions — one of Trump's staunchest supporters during the presidential campaign — "beleaguered" and "weak." And Trump told reporters yesterday that he would not have chosen Sessions for attorney general if he had known Sessions would recuse himself from the federal probe of Russia's efforts to influence last year's presidential election.
"We will see what happens. Time will tell," Trump said in response to a question Tuesday about Sessions' possible resignation.
The Washington Post first reported Hunt's conversation with Priebus.
Trump's public disparagement of Sessions continued this morning, with the president questioning Sessions' decision to keep the acting FBI director on board.
"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!" Trump wrote in two tweets.
Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
...big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Even with the status of his tenure as attorney general unclear, Sessions and his team have been moving ahead with his fight against sanctuary cities. On Tuesday the Department of Justice announced that it will be tightening requirements for cities and other jurisdictions around the country that want key federal grants. In order to receive grants in the next fiscal year, the DOJ will require cities and other jurisdictions to certify that they are in compliance with a law that allows federal authorities to obtain immigration-related information on "any individual" from local police.