Sessions to Trump: 'You're damn fortunate' I recused myself from Russia investigation

'I did my duty,' said former attorney general

Jeff Sessions
Jeff Sessions
(Zach Gibson/Getty)
Updated: May 23, 2020 - 10:03pm

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Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday publicly criticized his old boss President Trump, writing on Twitter that the president was "damn fortunate" that Sessions had decided to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, still a sore spot for Trump three years after it happened. 

Sessions in March of 2017 said he would take no part in the then-burgeoning investigation into rumors that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, citing federal law that forbade Justice Department officials from participating in investigations into their own political associates.

The attorney general would later tender his resignation at the president's request, due at least in part to the fallout surrounding that recusal decision. 

Trump has periodically criticized Sessions for that decision, as he did on Thursday evening when he reiterated his endorsement of Tommy Tuberville in Alabama's ongoing Republican primary runoff. Tuberville is running against Sessions for the spot; the winner will go on to face incumbent Democratic Doug Jones. 

"3 years ago, after Jeff Sessions recused himself, the Fraudulent Mueller Scam began," Trump tweeted. "Alabama, do not trust Jeff Sessions. He let our Country down. That’s why I endorsed Coach Tommy Tuberville."

In a sharp rejoinder, Sessions criticized his former boss, defending his actions from 2017. 

"Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law," Sessions wrote. "I did my duty & you're damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don't dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do."

Sessions made a slight terminological mistake in his tweet: the president earlier this year was acquitted during his impeachment trial, not "exonerated."

A Cygnal poll this week put Tuberville 23 points ahead of Sessions in the runoff. 

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