It’s a tough call, but the highlight of President Donald Trump’s off-the-rails, angry-old-man telephone interview on Fox & Friends Thursday morning was probably his attack on the FBI and his own Justice Department.
In the middle of an answer to a question about his accomplishments as president, of all things, he said, “You look at the corruption at the top of the FB– it’s a disgrace. And our Justice Department, which I try and stay away from, but at some point I won’t. I may change my mind at some point.”
The president wasn’t done. Not by a long shot.
“Because of the fact that they have this witch hunt going on with people in the Justice Department that shouldn’t be there,” he insisted. “They have a witch hunt against the President of the United States going on.”
“The people who are doing the investigation,” he continued, “you have 13 people that are Democrats, you have Hillary Clinton people, you have people who worked on Hillary Clinton’s foundation. They’re all — I don’t mean Democrats I mean, like, the real deal.”
“I love the FBI. The FBI loves me,” he insisted later, “but the top people, headed by Comey, were crooked.”
Just hours after the president cast these and other early morning aspersions, Attorney General Jeff Sessions – Trump’s own appointee to run the Justice Department – offered nothing but praise for the FBI and its current Director, Christopher Wray.
This utter act of defiance in the face of his boss’s allegations so soon after he made them didn’t go unnoticed. Reuters recounted his comments to the House appropriations committee during a previously scheduled budget hearing this way:
On Thursday, Sessions staunchly defended the FBI, calling its director, Christopher Wray a “man of integrity,” and warned lawmakers not to “smear everybody” at the department.
Many Republicans in the appropriations hearing bemoaned the lack of a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton’s emails (again), a complaint the president echoed in his morning rant.
The Attorney General swatted that complaint down as well. As Reuters reported, “Sessions told lawmakers that the Justice Department needed to ‘be disciplined and stay within our classical procedure and rules’ before rushing to hire more special counsels.”
“I do not think we need to willy-nilly appoint special counsels,” he told whining GOP Congressman Evan Jenkins of West Virginia after his long rant on the topic.
If Sessions’ job wasn’t on the line before his appearance before congress today, he’s certainly on the chopping block now.