Jeff Sessions Says Trump's Criticism Was 'Hurtful,' But He Won't Resign

"I serve at the pleasure of the president," the attorney general said after Trump called him "weak" and "beleaguered."

WASHINGTON ― Attorney General Jeff Sessions told news outlets on Thursday he was hurt that President Donald Trump had called him “weak” and “beleaguered” and had repeatedly criticized his decision-making over the past week, but he had no intention to resign.

Sessions spoke to The Associated Press and Fox NewsTucker Carlson during a trip to El Salvador. It was the first time the nation’s top law enforcement official has spoken to the media since Trump spent three straight days criticizing him on Twitter.

“I serve at the pleasure of the president,” Sessions told The Associated Press. “I’ve understood that from the day I took the job.”

Sessions told Carlson that Trump’s criticism was “kind of hurtful,” but he stood by his recusal decision and called Trump a “strong leader” who wants to make the country great again.

“I understand his feelings about it, because this has been a big distraction for him,” Sessions said on Fox News on Thursday. “But, Tucker, I thought the experts in the Department of Justice, people who are trained in that, I’m confident I made the right decisions. A decision that’s consistent for the rule of law and an attorney general who doesn’t follow the law is not very effective in leading the Department of Justice.  

“So, I think as with 15 years in the department, having served in that great department, knowing the integrity that’s required of the attorney general, I believe I made the right decision.”

This article has been updated to include more of Sessions’ comment.