Tags: Donald Trump | Jeff Sessions | Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | sheldon whitehouse | john kelly

Whitehouse: Call Between Kelly, Sessions Biggest News on Russia

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 02:04 PM

The big news on Russia is not the sanctions bill that was passed in Congress, but the assurances from Chief of Staff John Kelly to Attorney General Jeff Sessions his job remains safe, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Thursday.

"It is a sign of dialing back any potential attack on [FBI special counsel Bob] Mueller," Whitehouse told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I think between that, and Sen. Lindsey Graham's bill signaling from Congress that there's no tolerance for that."

In one of his first acts as chief of staff, Kelly called Sessions to reassure him, telling him last Saturday his position was safe despite the fierce criticism he had received from President Donald Trump, including a series of attacks on Twitter.

Kelly, who had been appointed to the post the day before, said the president is still not happy with Sessions, but did not plan to fire him or that he hoped the former senator would step down, according to people familiar with the call.

"There's been at least some significant pushback, including within the White House, on any efforts to interfere or impede any further in the Russia investigation," Whitehouse said.

He added he found the signing of the sanctions bill, meanwhile, as "kind of odd."

"It segregated out Iran and North Korea as malignant rogue states and then spoke rather nicely about Russia," Whitehouse said. "I think that Russia qualifies as a rogue state. It's basically a criminal organization, and the president's refusal to engage with it in that way continues to be a matter of mystery."

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The big news on Russia is not the sanctions bill that was passed in Congress, but the assurances from Chief of Staff John Kelly to Attorney General Jeff Sessions his job remains safe, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Thursday.
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2017-04-03
Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 02:04 PM
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