POLITICS
08/23/2018 06:31 pm ET

Lindsey Graham: 'Very Likely' Donald Trump Will Replace Jeff Sessions

But hiring a new attorney general before the midterm elections would be a "non-starter," the senator said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham told a group of reporters Thursday that it was “very likely” President Donald Trump would replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions “sooner rather than later.” 

The senator’s comments came on the same day Fox News aired an interview with Trump in which the president criticized Sessions for failing to “take control” of the Justice Department. He also returned to a now familiar criticism of the attorney general, saying he would never have nominated Sessions had he known the former Alabama senator would recuse himself from overseeing the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. 

“The president is entitled to an attorney general he has faith in,” Graham said. “And I think there will come a time sooner rather than later where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice.”

Following the Fox News interview, Sessions hit back at Trump and released a statement celebrating the work the Justice Department has accomplished since he took over. He also said the department would not be “improperly influenced by political considerations.” 

But Graham seemed to indicate that Session’s time at the department would not last much longer. 

“Replacing him before the [midterm] election to me would be a non-starter, but the idea of having a new attorney general in the first term of President Trump’s administration ― I think is very likely.”

Graham seemed to break with other GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), who have publicly discouraged the president from firing Sessions.

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