His loyalty to the boss severely tested but seemingly intact, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday he will stay in the job for as long as President Donald Trump wants him to serve.
Sessions told The Associated Press he and Trump have a “harmony of values and beliefs” and he intends to stay and fight for the president’s agenda “as long as he sees that as appropriate.” This, after a week of being berated by Trump in the most public fashion as weak and ineffective.
“If he wants to make a change, he has every right,” Sessions said in an interview outside the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador during a mission to increase international cooperation against the MS-13 gang. “I serve at the pleasure of the president. I’ve understood that from the day I took the job.”
Congressional Republicans have rallied around Sessions, a former senator from Alabama, and expressed mortification at the humiliation visited on him by Trump in several interviews and a series of tweets.
Trump is upset that Sessions recused himself months ago from the investigation into interactions between Russian officials and the Trump campaign, and that he has not taken a tougher line against his defeated Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina warned Thursday there would be “holy hell” to pay if Trump fired Sessions.
After meeting his Salvadoran counterpart, Sessions told AP he was “thrilled” with the support he’s received, presumably from lawmakers.
“I believe we are running a great Department of Justice,” he said. “I believe with great confidence that I understand what is needed in the Department of Justice and what President Trump wants. I share his agenda.”
He acknowledged, with considerable understatement, “it hasn’t been my best week …. for my relationship with the president.” The two have not spoken recently, he said. “But I look forward to the opportunity to chat with him about it.”