As a bonus, he could probably get Sean Spicer to give him a few tips in advance.
A couple of days ago I tried to make the case for Donald Trump keeping Jeff Sessions on as Attorney General and perhaps being a tad less, er… Trumpy toward him in public. This morning I wanted to look at the opposite side of the coin and ask whether or not it might be time for Sessions himself to submit his notice and go back to Alabama. Despite doing everything on the Trump agenda short of unrecusing himself on the Russia, Russia, Russia investigation (which I’m pretty sure requires Papal dispensation), the President has continued to make less than subtle, very public “suggestions” as to how Sessions should be best occupying his time. It’s actually gotten to the point where even Steve King has been gently suggesting that the POTUS take it down a couple of decibels.
The media, of course, is having a field day with this, as they do with any instances of Republican on Republican domestic violence. The new parlor game in the MSM seems to be a guessing game as to which one of them will pull the trigger and how long it will take. And I see some of them are trying to tie Sessions’ name to that of Comey, who was eventually fired. (Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday struck out at Jeff Sessions in a fresh round of tweets, criticizing the U.S. attorney general for keeping the acting FBI director and renewing accusations about past investigations of his former presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.
“Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got … big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets referring to former FBI Director James Comey, whom he later fired.
What’s kind of painful to watch is the explanation being offered as to why this is such a public spectacle. The Vice President attempted to answer the question during one interview this week, praising Trump. He said, “One of the great things about this president is you always know where you stand. He speaks candidly, he speaks openly, he’s expressed his disappointment in Sessions.”
Being candid and open with the public is certainly a plus, but not every conversation is part of the national interest. Good communications are important in any relationship, whether professional or personal. If I don’t put the recycling out on trash day, I expect to hear about it from my wife. It’s a lot better than having her stew about it in silence until my first notification that there’s a problem is when I suddenly hear from her divorce lawyer. But at the same time, I would expect to hear about the trash removal problem over coffee in the morning when it’s just the two of us, not by seeing that she’s taken out a billboard across from the interstate exit near our home.
Rich Lowry was musing on this subject yesterday in an article at Politico that’s worth a read. The money quote here was, “If the former Alabama senator wanted to be securely ensconced in Trump world, he should have had the foresight to marry Ivanka.”
This is just basic Management 101. Praise in public, criticize in private. At this point the relationship is increasingly looking like a protracted case of execution by pressing, a la Giles Corey. To be clear, it’s the President’s right to decide who will or won’t work for him, but there are limits of good taste when it comes to how you handle disciplinary measures. Sessions has been a loyal solider and this is getting seriously painful to watch. I still stand by my position that Jeff Sessions is more than worthy enough to keep on as Attorney General, but from Sessions’ side of the fence, President Trump may not be worth keeping as a boss. Perhaps it’s best to keep what’s left of your dignity intact and pull a take this job and shove it routine on the way out the door.