Donald Trump’s campaign manager has called on the president to fire his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.
Brad Parscale, the manager for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, made the statement on Twitter while criticizing the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“Time to fire Sessions End the Mueller investigation,” Parscale wrote. “You can’t obstruct something that was phony against you The IG report gives @realDonaldTrump the truth to end it all.”
The “IG report” refers to a review of the FBI’s actions during the 2016 election that was conducted by the justice department’s inspector general, which acts as an independent watchdog.
The 500-page report, which was released last week, condemned former FBI director James Comey for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, while also criticizing the conduct of individual agents. It did not, however, find evidence to support Trump’s claims that the nation’s top law enforcement agency is biased against him. The report did not wade into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, nor did the report draw any conclusions about its validity.
The president’s supporters nonetheless seized on text messages exchanged between two FBI employees, who had previously worked on the Russia investigation, that were critical of then-candidate Trump. One of those agents, Peter Strzok, was reassigned from Robert Mueller’s probe last July, shortly after the texts first came to light, while the other, Lisa Page, is no longer at the agency.
Parscale did not elaborate on why he believed Sessions should be fired, when reached by the Guardian. A spokesman for Sessions declined to comment.
The attorney general has come under intense criticism from the president for recusing himself last year from overseeing the FBI’s investigation, following reports that he held at least two meetings with the former Russian ambassador to the US in the run up to the November election.
The president has increasingly expressed his disdain for Sessions’ recusal while stopping short of firing him.
“The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself,” Trump tweeted earlier this month.
“I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined…and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!”
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