Jeff Sessions' Job Is Safe

Attorney General Jeff Sessions received personal assurance this week from White House chief of staff John Kelly that his job is safe, despite enduring both public and private scoldings from President Trump over the last several weeks.

Though Trump rewarded Sessions with the top law enforcement post for being the first Republican senator to endorse his 2016 campaign, their relationship has been on the rocks since late last summer. Then, the president told the New York Times he never would have tapped the former Alabama lawmaker for attorney general had he known he was going to recuse himself from overseeing the federal investigation into Russian election interference.

Rumors surrounding their strained relationship reemerged this week when multiple outlets claimed Sessions was on his way out, soon to be replaced by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Some of that speculation was thought to be coming from Pruitt's own office.

One big reason to replace Sessions is to let Trump get at Mueller. Because of Sessions' recusal, only Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein can fire the special counsel — and he has indicated that he sees no just cause to do so.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, conceded to the Washington Examiner that even if Trump is still “fuming” about Sessions’ recusal from the Russia probe, it is “highly unlikely that he will be removed before the 2018 elections.”

“It would cause the confirmation fight of the century and the Russia probe to be the front page story for weeks on end (if not months),” O’Connell said in an email. “It would seriously undermine Republican efforts to hold both Houses of Congress. So, Sessions stays for now.”

Read more from Kelly Cohen and Gabriella Morrongiello at the Washington Examiner

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