July 19, 2017

"Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president."

"How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president."

Trump, in an interview with the NYT.

There was what looked like an attempt to charm the NYT reporters with a performance by Ivanka's daughter Arabella.
At one point, his daughter Ivanka arrived at the doorway with her daughter, Arabella, who ran to her grandfather and gave him a kiss. He greeted the 6-year-old girl as “baby,” then urged her to show the reporters her ability to speak Chinese. She obliged.
Those last 2 words say: You can't soften us up.

97 comments:

Mark said...

Those last 2 words say: You can't soften us up.

Is "You can't soften us up" NYT-speak for "We never turn off our inner asshole"?

Chuck said...

I told you all how much I liked the Jeff Sessions nomination.

They say that if you want a friend in Washington, D.C., get a dog. Trump doesn't even have a dog.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

I think Sessions is a good man. After 8 years of a corrupt DOJ - I want an snarling Pit Bull with a firehose at the top of the DOJ. Session is not that Pit Bull.

Unknown said...

Ohhhh, the wheels on the bus are coming off, coming off, coming off, sings little Arabella.

MountainMan said...

Sessions has been a big disappointment. I thought he was a good senator. The position announced this week on civil forfeiture is appalling. This is a practice that needs to be stopped. He's lost me.

Unknown said...

Trump claims the new FBI director will report only to him. Oh my lord. You people voted for this man.

Mountain Maven said...

A child won't thaw the heart of a ZPG progressive.

Chuck said...

Unknown said...
Trump claims the new FBI director will report only to him.

lol. I'll just bet that the new FBI director will have a few different ideas from the President.

BAS said...

I don't think the scene is meant for the reporter. I doubt Trump is softening up the old shoe, but it is meant for the reader. The older lady with grandkids who reads the nytimes. That's the demographic for the Times isn't it?

Unknown said...

"A child won't thaw the heart of a ZPG progressive."

Trump shouldn't have tried to use his granddaughter in such a fashion. He doesn't fool anyone but his sycophants.

tcrosse said...

Trump claims the new FBI director will report only to him. Oh my lord. You people voted for this man.

Consider the alternative, whom you refuse to defend. You can't have it both ways.

Chuck said...

Just imagine Jeff Sessions listening to that audio. I'm imagining every one in the Presidential line of succession listening to that audio.

Unknown said...

The FBI director swears an oath to the Constitution, not the President. Hillary wouldn't have been as destructive to this country as Trump is now. Hillary would've been a far better President, despite her own issues. She looks like Pollyanna compared to the Trump Crime Family.

Mary Beth said...

Unknown said...

Ohhhh, the wheels on the bus are coming off, coming off, coming off, sings little Arabella.

7/19/17, 8:22 PM


No one cares about your bus, the Trump train still has all of its wheels.

Unknown said...

"No one cares about your bus, the Trump train still has all of its wheels."

But the tracks are in really bad shape.

Sebastian said...

Sessions was a pussy. Sad! Trump is right to be pissed. There was no good reason for the recusal, it complicated things for the administration, and if gave Rosenstein room to start an independent counsel witch hunt even though there was no crime to justify it.

But what happened to "you're fired"? If Trump is as mad as he seems to be, he should fire Sessions, Rosenstein, and Mueller. Start over.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Hillary uses our nation to stuff her pockets and she would have destroyed the First Amendment.

The left sing - yay!

brylun said...

Sessions was an establishment outsider who supported Trump early and wanted the job so badly that perhaps he wasn't truly honest with Trump. But Sessions is a.good man, and perhaps will grow into a great man in the job.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Another candidate for the Brutus role in Trump is Caesar play. He has already plunged in the pointed/edge weapon.

Unknown said...

"But what happened to "you're fired"? If Trump is as mad as he seems to be, he should fire Sessions, Rosenstein, and Mueller. Start over."

Oh yes, he really should do as you say, that will be the end of his Presidency. Even the Republicans wouldn't tolerate it.

Michael K said...

I sort of listen subconsciously to the lefty trolls' tone.

I detect desperation.

Unknown said...


"I sort of listen subconsciously to the lefty trolls' tone.

I detect desperation."

You're not very good at reading tone, this is good news for the Left. Trump is burying himself.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

An honorable man indeed. Asset forfeiture anyone?!

Fabi said...

Sessions is too fine a person for the job at hand. Trump needed a relentless, humorless, asshole for the job. No, no, not Chuck -- Chris Christie!

Thorley Winston said...

Sessions has been a big disappointment. I thought he was a good senator. The position announced this week on civil forfeiture is appalling. This is a practice that needs to be stopped. He's lost me.

Agreed, asset forfeiture should only be allowed in the event of a criminal conviction when the asset being seized has a material connection to the underlying crime.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Trump is correct, Sessions has been a massive disappoint. His first mistake was recusing himself from the Flynn investigation.

YoungHegelian said...

One thing to remember with the Trump administration is that either out of Trump's mouth, or from a leak, or from the press, each & every piece of dirty laundry gets aired. Shit like this happens in every administration.

Case in point: AG Janet Reno under Bill Clinton. Clinton so despised Reno that he essentially cut her off at the knees, making her a figurehead. All the major decisions were handled by Good Clinton Buddy Webster Hubbell.

Second case in point: LBJ sure as hell wasn't sad to see Robert Kennedy resign from being AG to run for the senate, that's for sure. The two men loathed each other.

So, with Trump & his staff, it really is same shit, different day.

Browndog said...

Trump knows the left has boxed him in, and can't fire Sessions for political reasons.

The ill-fated Sessions recusal keeps the DOJ in the hands of Obama. Trump's loyalty may be his undoing.

Mitch McConnell has only allowed for 3 DOJ appointees to be confirmed thus far. Getting another Attorney General confirmed is all but impossible.

If you go into Washington as an outsider, you had better burn the battlefield before hand.

Trump's desire to make deals may be his undoing.

Some men, you just can't reach.

buwaya said...

Chris Christie is, unfortunately, not humorless.

chickelit said...

Trump knows that if he fired Sessions, he'd be firing himself more quickly. There would be no more "Trump rallies" in the Heartland.

So who has got whom?

David said...

"Those last 2 words say: You can't soften us up."

Mistranslation: It says "We loathe you and yours and we plan to destroy you."

Unknown said...

"Chris Christie is, unfortunately, not humorless."

Chris Christie is laughing like a jolly fat man tonight.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Sessions may be preparing the ground to keep his job under Pence, after he gets the presidency for him. Or he is into civility bullshit of the political nuance. Both of which work the same results.

Laslo Spatula said...

Trump needed pit bulls, not labradors.

I am Laslo.

chickelit said...

Narayanan Subramanian said...An honorable man indeed. Asset forfeiture anyone?!

May we assume that you are a fan of Eric Holder's policy?

john said...

Session has been given a vote of no confidence. He could resign on that basis.

His boss should fire him, and if he had any balls, or even a brain in his head, he would have already.

Browndog said...

Sessions in the last 2 weeks (or so)-

-D.A.R.E. Gotta bring it back
-Goes to Las Vegas, tells the prosecutors that are railroading the Bundy's what a great job they are doing.
-Civil Forfeiture

Meanwhile, back in Washington...

I.R.S. Commissioner that railroaded the Tea party is still there, The Obama Hold-over acting Solicitor General is still there...

john said...

I should have added, Session's stance on civil asset forfeiture alone gives Trump a great opportunity to let him go.

Humperdink said...

Sessions will do the honorable thing and fall on his sword.

PS: I loved the guy, but when caved with his recusal, that was it. You can't give in to the left. Politics 101.

Unknown said...

"You can't give in to the left. Politics 101."

Ha! Give in to the left? No, he was saving his own ass for what is coming down the road.

Known Unknown said...

Sessions was Trump's dumbest appointment, IMHO.

Doubling-down on civil asset forfeiture. Ugh.

Known Unknown said...

I just said what everyone else did. I didn't realize we had so many burgeoning (small L) libertarians here at Althouse.

Sessions' stance on marijuana/medical marijuana isn't great either.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Don't know Holder's policy. To clarify .. I am using honorable as sarcastic epithet.

M Jordan said...

Why the hell did Trump let that weasel Baker interview him? And the other two?

I think it's a trick. 3D chess.

Hope so, anyway.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

I see that Holder was AG from 2009 to 2015? and issues a directive in 2015. Asset forfeiture must be something new fangled. I admire him for it. If the details are being accurately reported

Now Is the Time! said...

Sessions is a RINO Fink.

Darrell said...

You have to destroy the Left. Where they live. In the hedgerows. In the gutters. Under rocks. On streams. In the air. Where they work. Underground. Etc.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Are there any matters on which you would have to recuse yourself? If Trump had just gotten Pence to ask that interview question, he could have fired Sessions for lying to the Vice President.

Birkel said...

Sessions made the mistake McCain made in 2008. He thought that Democrats calling him "my friend" meant something. He thought getting approval from the MSM would earn him kudos.

That is not how the game is played.

chuck said...

> You can't soften us up

Yeah, but I bet they would have perked right up if she spoke Russian.

traditionalguy said...

Sessions suffers from the Nice Guy Wins Disease that comes from a life of being surrounded by more good men than bad men. But that is not how war is done. And he has no excuse, after serving in the Senate 20 years, and then he falls for the idea that the American FBI and CIA are nice honest guys Myth. They would all as soon kill him as look at him but he never noticed it...and Trump knows it so well that he cannot figure Sessions doing what he did accidentally.

chickelit said...

Maybe fire Sessions and replace him with someone more like Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch?

Sessions has just started putting the screws on open border states like California. Of course they're calling for his head.

chickelit said...

tradguy muses: Sessions suffers from the Nice Guy Wins Disease that comes from a life of being surrounded by more good men than bad men. But that is not how war is done. And he has no excuse, after serving in the Senate 20 years, and then he falls for the idea that the American FBI and CIA are nice honest guys Myth. They would all as soon kill him as look at him but he never noticed it...and Trump knows it so well that he cannot figure Sessions doing what he did accidentally.

Sessions took his oath to uphold the Constitution -- not Donald Trump. That being said, I don't believe that Pence polls well, so forget that fantasy.

Achilles said...

Sessions has been a huge disappointment. Kobach and others are in charge of the voter fraud investigation. The DOJ hasn't been touched. The IRS hasn't been touched. The Clintons are still free from indictment.

He should resign and let someone who wants to do the job do the job.

chickelit said...

Narayanan Subramanian said...I see that Holder was AG from 2009 to 2015? and issues a directive in 2015. Asset forfeiture must be something new fangled. I admire him for it. If the details are being accurately reported

It is being reported that Sessions has reversed only portions of asset forfeiture that Holder pushed through. Neither AG invented the procedure. Holder favored the free flow of guns across the border and the free flow of thug money in the US. Sessions has reset the practice to pre-Holder days.

chickelit said...

He should resign and let someone who wants to do the job do the job.

Who do you have in mind?

Narayanan Subramanian said...

What to make of his deer in lights look? After 20 years in Senate as you say

Earnest Prole said...

You can never be revolutionary enough for some people -- just ask Robespierre.

chickelit said...

Sessions has just started putting the screws on open border states like California. Of course they're calling for his head.

Let me be more precise: Sessions is fueling the rise of Kamala Harris who is beholden to Holder.

chickelit said...

Earnest Prole said...You can never be revolutionary enough for some people -- just ask Robespierre.

Robespierre beheaded Antoine Lavoisier. For that he cannot be forgiven.

Ralph L said...

Sessions took his oath to uphold the Constitution

Which means he obeys lawful orders from POTUS or quits. Same for FBI director. They quit to avoid obeying an unlawful order and run to Momma Media. The Establishment wants them to be "independent"--of Republican presidents.

chickelit said...

Narayanan Subramanian said...What to make of his deer in lights look? After 20 years in Senate as you say

No more so than Barack Obama after what was it...3 years in the Senate?

chickelit said...

Which means he obeys lawful orders from POTUS or quits.

Which lawful order is Sessions disobeying?

chickelit said...

@Ralph L: I'll answer for you. Sessions hasn't failed to obey a lawful order. He -- the words of the President "[has been] extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president." That's it.

Trump probably blames Sessions for the grief Don, Jr. has been through. "Why can't he make this Russia thing go away? He's a bad employee."

chickelit said...

I look forward to waking to Trump's 4AM Twitter rage against Sessions.

'Night all!

readering said...

Six months Thursday.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Y'all should know by now ... Unconstitutional for president to be republican. In that circumstance THE PRESS becomes 3rd branch under 1st And!

narciso said...

See we thought the example of Ashcroft in the Plame affair, might have served A a,warming.

narciso said...

I compared it to the grapevine campaign against Ibrahim in malaysia:

http://lidblog.com/hillary-an-arab-sheikh-the-guy-who-produced-the-trump-dossier/amp/

Feste said...

“Those last 2 words say: You can't soften us up.”

Why am I more confused than usual?

The last 2 words are: “She obliged.”

How does this play in - “You can't soften us up.”

Is the “us” who can’t be softened up, the Trumps? As in, Arabella, a child, is speaking to the NYT reporters in Chinese, because the Trumps are not impressed, softened up, with almighty-NYT reporters, who write stories that might as well be in Chinese? I don’t think this is it. But, I’m unsure.

Is the “us” the NYT reporters who wrote the 2 words - “she obliged” - so it’s the two written words by the reporters, who in writing those words [snark] are saying the NYT reporters will not be softened up, by cute? I think this is what is meant by - “You can't soften us up.”

My wordiness is torturing this. Maybe less would be more.

But, I’m not sure how this plays. Rorschach.

Either way, little-cute Arabella may be around a long time.

Maybe those reporters ought learn Chinese?

hombre said...

Beltway Jeff Sessions chickened out and recused himself out of fear of not being re-elected. Old habits die hard even when they serve no purpose.

His apparent failure to consult with his boss is unforgivable.

Etienne said...

Stupid. He recused himself from 1/8000th of the cases.

As he stated, he had no choice. It is a written rule. If Trump doesn't like the rule, then create an executive order deleting the rule.

He can't do that though, as it would be more stupid than the current stupidity.

Someone needs to get control of the fructose the fat bastard is inhaling.

Kirk Parker said...

"The position announced this week on civil forfeiture is appalling. This is a practice that needs to be stopped. He's lost me."

Me too. Not just civil forfeiture, though, his entire hard-on for the failed War On (Some) Drugs is appalling.


"Who do you have in mind?"

I hear Cthulhu isn't all that busy these days.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

I am wondering about this man's temperament and judgment .. are these actions chosen/decided by him on his own initiative or based on advice he is getting and q? who has his ear. Dems tried to stop his confirmation ... They may want to show they were right ... Does not look like jbs is deep or long thinker.

Kevin said...

“She obliged.”

Arabella has done the speak Chinese for the visitors thing before. He's lucky they didn't write "She persisted."

Kevin said...

I have always expected a lot of hiring and firing in this administration at the top. He clearly wanted to reward those who helped his campaign early - loyalty goes both ways. But Flynn was a mistake and Sessions has been a disappointment.

This was never going to be a group hired because they checked all the identity boxes and kept together for the sake of looking pretty in the annual photo. It's going to be a group that gets the job done.

In other news, DeVoss is restoring due process to college campuses.

David Baker said...

Sessions was a lamb going to the slaughter. Trump should have seen this, that Sessions had moved way beyond his highest capacity. That he had become an old man, fearful, and hesitant. And a patsy for asset forfeiture.

Now it's up to Trump to grow the guts to fire him. And the rest of that undermining crew.

Curious George said...

Unknown said...
You're not very good at reading tone, this is good news for the Left. Trump is burying himself.

grackle said...

… when caved with his recusal, that was it. You can't give in to the left. Politics 101.

First requirement to serve in a Trump administration: A working set of balls and an ability to withstand the inevitable MSM shit-storm.

Sessions is much too nervous and timid to be AG for a Prez like Trump. The immediate MSM blitzkrieg against Trump frightened him into the recusal, which was unnecessary, derelict and harmful to his boss. You just cannot be that easily goaded into such defensive, passive and needlessly cowed behavior. All this bogus talk of treason and impeachment must be making him piss in his panties.

The AG and for that matter each member of the cabinet serve at the pleasure of the POTUS. Perhaps Trump has hinted to Sessions in private to resign with no result and now has decided to go with the public humiliation route. In any case, if Sessions has any pride at all he should resign. It is quite clear now that Prez Trump has no confidence in him.

Mike Sylwester said...

At the time when Sessions recused himself, he was criticized for his stupid decision. He is not being criticized now only in hindsight.

At this point, our President Trump's best remedy for his situation would be to declassify absolutely all the government's documents in this bogus investigation of Russian meddling in the election.

** Let the public investigate the investigators. **

To begin right now today, Trump should declassify the FISA application of June 2016, along with all its supporting documents.

** Let the public investigate the investigators. **

Also today, Trump should declassify all the documents related to the Flynn affair -- especially the transcript of the Flynn-Kislyak telephone conversation, along with all of Sally Yates' memos and correspondence about Flynn being vulnerable to RUSSIAN BLACKMAIL for violating the LOGAN ACT.

** Let the public investigate the investigators. **

Also today, Trump should declassify all the documents related to the Steele dossier, including all FBI documents about paying Steele.

** Let the public investigate the investigators. **

That would be a good start for today, Thursday.

He could declassify many more documents tomorrow, Friday.

sunsong said...

Typical Trump, self-centered and self-absorbed...

Matthew Sablan said...

For a guy who worked in reality TV and has shown an expert ability at manipulating the media... sometimes he just fumbles it mightily.

sunsong said...

I'd like to dedicate this song to the one and only love of my life: me

the singing Trump

roesch/voltaire said...

Actually I was surprised Sessions still had enough of a moral and ethical core to realize he had to recuse himself.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Hillary wouldn't have been as destructive to this country as Trump is now. Hillary would've been a far better President, despite her own issues."

-- One of the major reasons I could not vote for Clinton over Trump is that Clinton would never be held accountable for anything. There might be an investigation. Fox News may say mean things about her, yet she would never, not once, be held accountable to the public at large.

Trump, warts and all, *is* held accountable. And that is for the good.

Matthew Sablan said...

That isn't to say I voted *for* Trump. Just that Clinton was a non-starter. We had just had 8 years of not holding a president accountable.

Chuck said...

Thanks to the Althouse blog's organization, one can use the "Jeff Sessions" tag and scroll through the comments of some of this blog's regulars, to see what they said when Sessions was nominated, when he had his confirmation hearing, and when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, etc.

I get a kick out of the change in tone; as long as Sessions was a favored star in the Trump firmament, he was loved. Now, not so much.

More evidence of the cult of personality surrounding Donald Trump and his most ardent supporters.

grackle said...

… and scroll through the comments of some of this blog's regulars, to see what they said when Sessions was nominated, when he had his confirmation hearing, and when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, etc.

I get a kick out of the change in tone; as long as Sessions was a favored star in the Trump firmament, he was loved. Now, not so much.


Speaking for myself as one of those “regulars,” I wrote that Trump should fire him as soon as Sessions lost his nerve and recused himself without saying a thing to his boss before doing so. If I’m his boss such a stupidly knee-jerk reaction to a bit of MSM heat is a firing offense – and you never do nervous-Nellie shit like that without at least giving the boss a heads-up.

Darcy said...

I watched Rod Rosenstein's interview with Martha MacCallum and I was comforted by his words and demeanor. I believe, at least for now, that Sessions and Rosenstein felt they were doing the right thing by their president (and the country). Imagine if the Mueller investigation eventually exonerates Trump? Brilliant.

I'm disappointed in the asset forfeiture position, but that too was addressed by Rosenstein and did not seem as bad as all of Twitter was imagining. He related it to the drug epidemic (specifically heroin, I gathered), which is very real.

Most people don't think this drug reaches into their community but it does in a way that is frightening.

Known Unknown said...

"He related it to the drug epidemic (specifically heroin, I gathered), which is very real. "

The problem is not heroin, but fentanyl. That's what kills. Not a great business move, but I don't think the importers nor dealers care. Legalized heroin would probably not kill as many dumb people.

Darcy said...

I know fentanyl kills, but heroin does too. If not immediately, then eventually. And definitely not in the same league as marijuana with regard to legalization. While I see the argument for legalization, it feels morally wrong to legalize heroin. Ghastly drug.

Birkel said...

If asset forfeiture were limited to drug dealers and/or organized crime -AND- the process for demanding return was streamlined -AND- out the burden of proof on the state (clear and convincing?)...

Then it might not be so bad.

Further, every Democrat will, absolutely wil, use this power to intimidate and attack political enemies.

Sessions must consider the actions of the enemy when considering a plan.

Known Unknown said...

"While I see the argument for legalization, it feels morally wrong to legalize heroin"


You know what kills a lot of people? Alcohol.

Darcy said...

Oh, whatever. Marijuana legalization is ruining the state I live in. And everything smells like skunk. So nice. I look forward to the glorious, legalized heroin future!

Birkel said...

Some people want to tell other people what to do.
Sometimes that is about a choice of intoxicants.
Sometimes that is about baking cakes.

Hard to argue the baking cakes people are wrong if you are an intoxicant person.

chickelit said...

What Chuck said at 8:45 AM

Birkel said...

As somebody who took no position on Sessions (that I recall) Chuck at 8:45am is marginally uninteresting.