In the midst if a firestorm of bitterness emanating from President Trump towards his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Vice President Mike Pence took the unusual step of coming forward and taking a public stance that doesn’t sound like a lapdog-ish regurgitation of Trump’s bidding.
As reported by CNN, Pence was speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill when he declared that he holds Sessions “in the highest regard.”
“I appreciate his service to the nation,” Pence added.
Trump’s opinion of Sessions has soured since the 2016 campaign, where Sessions was one of the first politicians to publicly endorse Trump.
A rare moment: @vp stopped in the Capitol hallway to answer my Q on whether he had confidence in AG Jeff Sessions.
“I hold Jeff Sessions in the highest regard. I appreciate his service to the nation,” he responded.
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) September 5, 2018
One of Trump’s initial grievances with Sessions came when he recused himself from overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged contacts with Russia.
“The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself…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!” Trump tweeted in June.
After the recent indictments of Reps. Chris Collins (R-NY) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) on insider trading and campaign finance violation charges, Trump took to Twitter and accused Sessions of poor timing since the charges were filed just ahead of the mid terms.
“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff,” Trump tweeted on Monday.
According to accounts published in Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear: Trump in the White House,” Trump is said to have called Sessions “mentally retarded” in private.