President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager said Tuesday that it was "time to fire" Attorney General Jeff Sessions and end special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Brad Parscale, who was tapped in February to head Trump's re-election effort, tweeted that it was "Time to fire Sessions" and "End the Mueller investigation," adding, "You can't obstruct something that was phony against you."
"The IG report gives @realDonaldTrump the truth to end it all," Parscale wrote.
The Justice Department's inspector general released a report last week that criticized former FBI Director James Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The report was also critical of text messages exchanged between two FBI employees who disparaged Trump, saying the texts "cast a cloud" over the credibility of the investigation, but also saying there was no evidence "that these political views directly affected the specific investigative decisions" reviewed.
Parscale and other GOP operatives are frustrated that the headlines of undocumented immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border are drowning out the inspector general report's conclusions, and his tweet calling for Sessions to be fired is an attempt to wrestle the narrative back to that storyline, which they think benefits Republicans, a source familiar with their strategy told CNN.
After the release of the IG report, the President claimed it exonerated him: "The report yesterday, maybe more importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction."
However, the Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, made clear during a congressional hearing on the report on Monday that the review "did not look into collusion questions."
Parscale's tweet is the latest in a series of attacks against Sessions from Trump and his allies. Sessions recused himself last year from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump has called Sessions' decision a "terrible mistake for the country" and in May tweeted he wished he had picked someone else for attorney general.
The White House has not responded to questions about whether Parscale is speaking officially for the President or reflecting his views.
Sen. Lindsey Graham reacted to the news that Parscale had called for the attorney general to be fired by saying he likes Sessions but "it's not unusual to replace Cabinet officials."
However, the South Carolina Republican added, "anything that would seem to interfere with the Mueller investigation is probably a nonstarter. Sessions has recused himself."
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