Donald Trump hasn’t been shy in recent weeks about publicly slamming his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, mocking him as “very weak.” Asked whether Sessions would remain at his post, the president was recently non-committal, saying only that “time will tell.”
And yet, new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly reached out to the attorney general directly over the weekend, reassuring Sessions that his position his safe, Trump’s rhetoric notwithstanding.
We don’t know exactly how Kelly put it, but given the circumstances, it’s likely the retired general told Sessions not to worry too much about what the president says. As CNBC’s John Harwood wrote yesterday, there’s a lot of this going around.
Increasingly, federal officials are deciding to simply ignore President Donald Trump.
As stunning as that sounds, fresh evidence arrives every day of the government treating the man elected to lead it as someone talking mostly to himself.
On Tuesday alone, the commandant of the Coast Guard announced he will “not break faith” with transgender service members despite Trump’s statement that they could no longer serve. Fellow Republicans in the Senate moved ahead with other business despite the president’s insistence that they return to repealing Obamacare. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “we certainly don’t blame the Chinese” for North Korea’s nuclear program after Trump claimed, “China could easily solve this problem.” And Vice President Mike Pence said the president and Congress speak in a “unified voice” on a bipartisan Russia sanctions bill Trump has signed, but not publicly embraced.