Beleaguered Meaning President Donald Trump

Beleaguered Meaning President Donald TrumpPresident Trump turned up the pressure on his own attorney general on Monday, calling him “beleaguered” in a tweet questioning why the Justice Department is not investigating Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump’s comments are remarkable because if the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is beleaguered of late it is largely because of Mr. Trump himself.

In an interview last week with The New York Times, Mr. Trump said he never would have nominated Mr. Sessions if he knew he intended to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling and the Trump campaign. Those comments raised speculation that Mr. Sessions would quit, but he did not. Instead, Mr. Sessions said he would stay on as attorney general “as long as that is appropriate.” Mr. Sessions has made it a priority to address violence, gangs and drugs — carrying out Mr. Trump’s inaugural pledge to end “American carnage.” But his tense relationship with Mr. Trump has overshadowed his agenda at the Justice Department. Mr. Sessions was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump’s candidacy and was an architect of his populist message on immigration and trade.

In his tweet, Mr. Trump returned to campaign rhetoric, suggesting his Democratic opponent should be the subject of an investigation into murky ties to Russia, not him. On Saturday, Mr. Trump tweeted that “so many people” were asking why Mr. Sessions and the special counsel were not looking into Mrs. Clinton and her deleted emails. After winning the election, Mr. Trump declared that the Justice Department should not pursue investigations of Mrs. Clinton. But some of his outside advisers have called for him to push for such an inquiry. Mrs. Clinton also faced investigations into her family’s foundation and her use of a private email server. During the campaign, Mr. Trump’s supporters were most animated by chants of “Lock her up!” Those chants have continued at rallies Mr. Trump has held as president.

The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, released prepared remarks early Monday ahead of his interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee, and said that he “did not collude” with a foreign government. Mr. Kushner and others associated with Mr. Trump’s campaign have also talked to congressional committees as part of the lawmakers’ investigations into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia. Mr. Trump attacked Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, on Twitter, as well, on Monday, calling him “sleazy” and “totally biased.” Mr. Schiff is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which is conducting one of the congressional investigations into Russia.
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