Tucker Carlson to Trump: Lay off Jeff Sessions

Rush Limbaugh’s right that most rank-and-file Trumpers aren’t principled populist-nationalists, but some are — as are a few luminaries in “conservative” media. Ann Coulter is one, Laura Ingraham’s another, and I’d say Tucker is too. What’s striking about Trump’s administration is how few committed nationalists there are at the top rungs. You’ve got Bannon and Stephen Miller in advisory roles, but there’s only one member of the cabinet who fits the bill. Hence Carlson’s frustration: Why is Trump, who got elected as a nationalist, kneecapping the one guy working for him who actually believes in his nationalist agenda?

It’s a solid point, and a fair answer to Trump’s objection in his NYT interview that Sessions should have told him before he was appointed if there was any chance of him recusing himself from the Russia investigation. The AG has a broad portfolio; in theory, having a close campaign ally and like-minded ideologue in that role handling all federal law enforcement business except Russiagate should have been attractive enough to Trump to justify Sessions’s appointment even if he knew a recusal was coming. Instead he’s telling reporters that Sessions never would have been nominated if Trump knew he wouldn’t be in charge of the Russia probe. Did Trump think, or expect, that Sessions would have simply pulled the plug on the Russia investigation on the president’s orders if he hadn’t recused himself? That’s the chief disconnect between Tucker and Trump here. Tucker’s for nationalism; Trump is for Trump. Sessions is meeting Carlson’s top priority but not the president’s.

Per WaPo, even White House aides can’t believe that Sessions didn’t quit yesterday after Trump humiliated him so publicly:

Some Republicans in frequent touch with the White House said they viewed the president’s decision to publicly air his disappointment with Sessions as a warning sign that the attorney general’s days were numbered. Several senior aides were described as “stunned” when Sessions announced Thursday morning he would stay on at the Justice Department.

Another Republican in touch with the administration described the public steps as part of a broader effort aimed at “laying the groundwork to fire” Mueller.

“Who attacks their entire Justice Department?” this person said. “It’s insane.”

Eh, Sessions will be gone soon — for his own sake, I hope, as the odds of Trump eventually firing Mueller are approaching 100 percent. If that happens, Rosenstein will almost certainly resign on principle, having appointed Mueller in the first place. When he does, Sessions will be caught between two armies engaged in a hot war. The right will demand that he back Trump up, the prosecutors at the DOJ will demand that he resign in protest too. Whatever he ends up doing, one side or the other will utterly detest him afterward, making his continued tenure at the Justice Department a nightmare. He should abandon ship now with the iceberg still on the horizon.

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David Strom 12:31 PM on December 08, 2022