WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump escalated his long-running feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday, pressing him to investigate those who are probing his administration.
Responding to Sessions' declaration that he would not be influenced by politics, Trump tweeted that Sessions must "look into all of the corruption on the 'other side,'" adding: "Come on Jeff, you can do it, the country is waiting!"
The president's tweets marked the second day of a highly public smackdown by Trump of his attorney general.
Earlier this week, Trump, concerned by the legal downfall of two former advisers, accused Sessions of failing to take control of the Justice Department. Sessions punched back Thursday, saying that he and his department "will not be improperly influenced by political considerations."
Trump's anger with Sessions boiled over in an interview with Fox News in which the president also expressed frustration with the plea agreement his onetime legal fixer Michael Cohen cut with prosecutors, implicating Trump in a crime that Cohen admitted. Trump said it might be better if "flipping" — cooperating with prosecutors in exchange for more favorable treatment— were illegal because people cooperating with the government "just make up lies" to get a break from prosecutors.
Some of the issues Trump raised with Sessions on Friday have either already been examined or are in the process of being investigated.
He cited two former FBI officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were sharply criticized in a Justice Department inspector general report in June for trading derogatory text messages about Trump. Strzok, who was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in the summer once the texts were brought to his attention, was fired by the FBI this month. Page has resigned from the bureau.