Ex-AG Gonzales says Trump's attacks on Sessions make him look 'weak'

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday that President Donald Trump's latest public attacks on ...

Posted: Aug 24, 2018 3:47 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2018 3:47 PM

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday that President Donald Trump's latest public attacks on Jeff Sessions make the President appear "weak."

"What I worry about is that, you know, the President is head of the executive branch and he decides who serves in his Cabinet. To continue to criticize the attorney general, I think, makes the President appear weak," Gonzales, who served under President George W. Bush, told CNN's "New Day" on Friday morning.

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"If there is, in fact, displeasure in his service, then he has an obligation from my perspective to make a change."

In an interview aired Thursday on Fox News, the President lashed out at Sessions, arguing that the attorney general "never took control" of the Justice Department. Sessions then responded to the criticism in a public statement, saying "While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations."

Trump continued the public criticism on his Twitter account Friday morning, asking the Attorney General to "look into" the White House's political opponents.

Trump's recent criticism comes after his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of several tax and banking charges and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations. Throughout special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, Trump has heaped criticism on the Department of Justice, calling it "corrupt" and has particularly targeted Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Earlier this month, Trump said in a tweet that Sessions is "scared stiff and Missing in Action."

"The constant criticism, the second-guessing, of decisions at the Department of Justice, I think does have a lasting impact," Gonzales said on "New Day."

"The President is head of the executive branch, he can express views to the Department of Justice. I would like to think it would be better-done privately, because to do so publicly raises allegations, accusations that the President wants the Department of Justice to go after his political enemies. And I think that does further damage the Department of Justice."

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