In Brief

Jeff Sessions hits back at Trump criticism

US attorney general defends his position in the wake of ongoing Trump attacks

US attorney general Jeff Sessions has issued a striking rebuke to Donald Trump, after the US president attacked the justice department during a Fox News interview yesterday.

The Guardian reports that Trump “reprised a litany of complaints about the justice department and the FBI, attacking both without providing evidence they had treated him and his supporters unfairly”, in the wake of Michael Cohen’s guilty plea and Paul Manafort’s conviction earlier this week.

During the interview, Trump accused Sessions of losing control of the justice department, and blamed him for what he called “corruption” within the department over special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

“I took control of the department of justice the day I was sworn in,” Sessions said. "While I am attorney general, the actions of the department of justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”

The rebuke from Sessions comes amid growing reports that Sessions will be fired by Trump following the mid-term elections in November.

Politico reports that Republicans have warned Trump not to remove Sessions from his role because “they would not confirm a successor”.

However prominent Republican Lindsey Graham appeared to back down from that stance yesterday, “appearing almost to encourage Trump to send Sessions packing”, Politco says.

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