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Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker to oversee Mueller probe

Morning Edition

03:49 min | 1 year ago

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker to oversee Mueller probe

"Former US attorney from Iowa and the George W Bush administration. So he does have DOJ experience by Democrats in particular are quite concerned about whether he's tipped his hand as to how he feels about this mother probe carry I wanna take a moment to hear your thoughts about Jeff Sessions. The departing attorney general departed attorney general who you covered for for a couple of years. This is a guy. I know who was scorned by many Trump supporters for not seeming supportive of Naf of his president which wasn't his job. A bit. Also scorned by people on the left because of the immigration and other policies that he backed what are his friends and supporters saying of his two years as attorney general a lot of support statements supportive statements overnight, Steve from sessions, former colleagues in the Senate where Jeff Sessions surfer twenty years, they say he had a forty year dedicated record of public service. He did a lot at crack down on immigration and asylum, which is one of Donald Trump's top priorities in his heart was in the right place. He wanted to do the right thing. That's why he recused himself from the Russia probe which put him in the president's ill Grace's to begin with Gary. Thanks so much. Really? Appreciate it. My pleasure. That's NPR Justice. Correspondent Carrie Johnson. Okay. The firing of sessions is one of several rapid fire. Moves by the president. That's right. I e held a news conference yesterday afternoon where he expressed bitter satisfaction at the defeat of many House Republicans he said that some of them lost after failing to embrace him. He said that the lesson. He learned from the election was quote, people like me, then after that the White House revoked the credentials of a CNN reporter, and in the midst of all of this. Of course, the White House is up against a changed political landscape because Republicans lost the house and elections at many other levels on Tuesday. NPR's Scott Horsely covers the White House and is with us. Hey there Scott good morning. Steve led me, I ask about the change at the department of Justice Whittaker's attempt, these the acting attorney general how easy is it. Going to be for the president to have a replacement confirmed by the Senate, well, certainly the president's fellow Republicans had encouraged him not to make any changes at the Justice department before the midterm election, but he may feel. Freer now to make changes with that election behind him. As a result of the polling on Tuesday. The president now has a larger friendly GOP majority in the Senate, and that's the team that would be responsible for confirming any replacement Mitch McConnell. The Senate GOP leader was asked yesterday about the confirmation process. This was before we knew that sessions was on his way out, and he said that how controversial that processes would depend on who the president chooses for any for any new post. We have seen some lip service paid by Republicans. And and senators elect Republicans in the Senate and senators elect to say that the Muller probe must be protected on the house where there will be a new democratic majority. They of course, won't play any role in confirming a successor, but they will have the power to investigate the process of sessions dismissal. Okay. So there'll be a lot of news there, and that is just one cabinet depart. -ment are other changes expected in the administration after the midterm election here. It wouldn't be surprising to see more departures. The president said yesterday he is for the most part extremely happy with his cabinet. Of course, that was just hours before we learned that sessions was on his way out. The president did say he would be taking a look at some of the ethical complaints. That had been lodged against his interior secretary. Ryan Zinke, of course, ethics charges have already failed to other cabinet secretaries health secretary, Tom Price and the EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, even though in both cases, those men were very aggressive in carrying out, the president's agenda, just as

President Trump Senate Jeff Sessions White House Donald Trump Attorney Gary Us Attorney Carrie Johnson Steve DOJ George W Bush Administration Scott Pruitt Justice Whittaker Acting Attorney General Iowa NPR GOP Secretary