WASHINGTON ― Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to announce further investigations into intelligence leaks following President Donald Trump’s continued attacks on his job performance, according to new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
Trump said Tuesday that Sessions needs to be “much tougher on the leaks from the intelligence agencies.” It turns out that Sessions is prepared for that, Scaramucci said Wednesday during an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” a favorite program of his new boss.
“I think he has got a plan that he’s put together, and at some point — I don’t know if it will be today, tomorrow or next week — he will announce that plan,” Scaramucci said. “Listen, we have to crack down on leaks on a number of different fronts.”
The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that Sessions is planning to unveil criminal leak investigations “based on news accounts of sensitive intelligence information,” an issue that has been of paramount concern to Trump. But Trump often refers to leaks of classified intelligence and leaks to reporters about White House disarray interchangeably.
The president has been disparaging Sessions for recusing himself from investigations into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia, calling the attorney general “very weak” and “beleaguered.” Trump admitted last week that he wouldn’t have appointed Sessions had he known the attorney general would recuse himself, and has even signaled the possibility of replacing him.
But when asked about the issue on Tuesday, Trump wouldn’t say whether he planned to fire Sessions. The attorney general has reportedly refused to resign.
“We will see what happens. Time will tell. Time will tell,” Trump said, after reiterating that he was “disappointed” in Sessions.
Trump’s criticisms of Sessions give the appearance that the president wants to quell the investigations into his campaign. But they also represent a significant and highly unusual violation of norms and protocols that typically preserve independence between the Department of the Justice and the White House.
The president on Tuesday dismissed the notion that he was tormenting Sessions, a former senator from Alabama who has been extremely loyal to him. At a time when many Republicans were reluctant to back the real estate mogul, Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump’s campaign. He went on to serve as a campaign adviser.