Attorney General Jeff Sessions should make it clear that he's staying in his job, despite President Donald Trump's assertion in an interview with The New York Times that he would not have nominated him if he knew he'd recuse himself from overseeing the investigation into Russia's activities during the 2016 election, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said Thursday.
"I think we know something about Donald Trump's character," Kristol commented during a panel discussion on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "Loyalty is a one-way street there."
During the interview, conducted in the Oval Office, Trump said he would not have appointed Sessions had he known about the recusal decision, which he called "very unfair to the president."
"Sessions should have never recused himself — and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else," Trump said.
"I think Jeff Sessions should make clear he's staying in the job and is going to do the job," Kristol said. "He was confirmed by the United States Senate and works for the United States people."
Further, as long as Sessions believes he's doing a good job, "he should stay there and defend his decision, which was clearly the right decision to recuse himself."
In June, Sessions offered to resign amid increasing tensions with Trump and while the testimony of fired FBI Director James Comey neared, and as reports surfaced that Trump was becoming frustrated with his attorney general.
In his interview with The New York Times, Trump also chastised Sessions, who resigned his seat as a longtime senator from Alabama to accept the position as attorney general, for failing to give accurate statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee in January about his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
"Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers," Trump said in the interview. "He gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren't."
Sessions also should defend former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is working as special counsel in the Russia interference investigation, said Kristol, and "say the investigation is appropriate and he has confidence in the FBI and the law enforcement agencies of the U.S. government."
Trump also bashed Mueller, along with fired FBI Director James Comey, accusing the special counsel of looking into areas not related to the Russia investigation. However, he said, "I would say yes" if he believed Mueller would be crossing a red line if he investigates the Trump family's finances not related to Russia.
Kristol on Thursday also commented about Trump's continued focus on Russia in general, saying that perhaps there is "too much psychology" being read into the president's comments. However, he continued, saying the topic of Russia and the ongoing investigation is the one thing "that drives Donald Trump crazy."
"Why?" Kristol said. "It taints his victory or something? I think it's because he's scared about what's going to be found.
"That's been the consistent theme throughout. Every time Russia comes up, he does everything he can to stop the investigation and does everything he can to discredit it as he did in the interview last night."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.