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U.S. President Donald Trump fired new barbs Wednesday at Jeff Sessions, his embattled attorney general, in his latest salvo against the country’s top law enforcement official.
In a pair of Twitter comments, Trump questioned why Sessions has not replaced Andrew McCabe, the current acting chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Trump described McCabe as a friend of James Comey, the FBI chief Trump fired in May while he was leading the agency’s investigation of Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election aimed at helping Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump said McCabe headed the investigation last year that cleared Clinton of wrongdoing in her use of a private email server while she was U.S. secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Trump said McCabe “got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!”
The campaign financing Trump referred to was money a Clinton ally, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, steered to Jill McCabe in her unsuccessful campaign for a Virginia state Senate seat.
U.S. news media accounts say that White House aides have urged Trump to end his almost daily broadsides against Sessions, the first prominent U.S. political figure to endorse Trump last year as he started his long-shot, but ultimately successful, run for the White House.
But Trump for days has lobbed attacks at Sessions, a highly unusual public spat in Washington between a president and a member of his Cabinet. For his part, Sessions associates have told the White House he has no intention of quitting and Trump has not fired him.
Trump has told aides for months and reporters in the last week that he is angered that Sessions removed himself from oversight of the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.
Sessions said Justice Department rules required him to step aside from the probe because of ethical conflicts created by his own involvement in the Trump campaign and contacts with Russia’s ambassador to Washington.
Trump has said that he would not have named Sessions as attorney general if he knew that he was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
With Sessions removed from the probe, his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller, another former FBI chief, to lead the criminal investigation of the Russian interference.
Now, Russia probes by Mueller and numerous congressional panels have consumed the early months of Trump’s presidency, angering the New York real estate mogul turned Republican politician.
Asked Tuesday at a White House news conference about possibly firing Sessions, Trump said, “I’m very disappointed with the attorney general, but we will see what happens. Time will tell. Time will tell.”
New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said it “probably” is the case that Trump wants Sessions to resign.