A revelatory article published by The New York Times on Wednesday quoted President Donald Trump as saying that he would never have hired Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he knew that he would later recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
During the interview with the Times, the president also touched on the subject of former FBI Director James Comey and current leader of the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller.
When speaking of the attorney general — who was one of the president's first political supporters — Trump said, “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.”
He added, “Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president.”
Trump even expressed displeasure with some of Sessions's answers during his Senate confirmation hearing: "Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers. He gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren’t.
The president also alleged that Sessions recusing himself is what led to the implementation of the special counsel.
On the subject of Comey, Trump claimed that the former FBI director had at one point tried to hold a dossier of “compromising material” over him in an attempt to keep his position at the FBI. This allegation marks a new development in the Trump-Comey feud.
The exchange over the alleged dossier came, according to Trump, roughly two weeks before his inauguration in January. During a meeting at Trump Tower at which Trump was briefed on the Russian meddling, Comey allegedly pulled then-candidate Trump aside and told him that dossier had been compiled by a British operative.
The dossier apparently contained salacious material about one of Trump's visits to Moscow.
According to the Times article, Trump claimed he would never order the removal of Mueller. He did, however, confess to feeling as though the investigation has had some political repercussions over the course of his first six months in office.
Neither Sessions nor Comey has provided a comment to the NYT's story.