A chief executive publicly savaging his own attorney general would be an eye-popping irregularity at any point in American history, but the circumstances under which Trump is apparently trying to badger his own “top cop” into quitting are extraordinary. If Trump’s objective, as some have speculated, is to enable Sessions’ resignation and replace him with an AG who will subsequently fire Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller — and thus potentially end what the president has called a “witch hunt” against him over his campaign’s dealings with Russia — he’s certainly telegraphing his punches.

I’m no adherent to the “cult of the presidency.” You won’t find me lamenting the loss of the dignity of the office. But I am a human being, as is Jeff Sessions, who in his short time in power has created policies which literally destroy the lives of innocent Americans. Yet with his flagrant disregard for the rule of law and his basic accountability, President Trump has actually made me feel bad for Sessions. At least a little.