Donald Trump warms to Jeff Sessions following stinging public criticism of his AG

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at a briefing at the Department of Justice in Washington, on Aug 4, 2017.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at a briefing at the Department of Justice in Washington, on Aug 4, 2017. PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Saturday (Aug 5) had some warm words for Attorney General Jeff Sessions after weeks of publicly slamming him as weak.

"After many years of LEAKS going on in Washington, it is great to see the A.G. taking action! For National Security, the tougher the better!" Trump wrote on Twitter from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Sessions had been the public target of the president's anger recently because he had recused himself from a probe into allegations that Trump's aides coordinated with Russia to tilt last year's election in his favour.

At one point, Trump told The New York Times he would never have appointed Sessions had he known he would recuse himself. Trump also took to Twitter to blast Sessions as "VERY weak," among other criticisms on social media.

The attacks were widely seen as designed to force Sessions into resigning.

However, the former Alabama senator appeared to be on Trump's good side Saturday after launching a high-profile campaign to crack down on government employees who leak classified or sensitive information to the media.

The action comes after a spate of scoops - many of them unfavorable - about the Trump administration.

"I strongly agree with the president and condemn in the strongest terms the staggering number of leaks undermining the ability of our government to protect this country," Sessions told a press conference Friday.

 
 

Trump, who once asked "what's the point" of vacations and often admonished his presidential predecessor Barack Obama for taking them while in office, also pushed back on reports that his 17-day stay at his beloved Bedminster resort was a holiday.

"Working in Bedminster, N.J., as long planned construction is being done at the White House. This is not a vacation - meetings and calls!" he tweeted.

The White House has said Trump's Bedminster stay would be a "working vacation" and cited scheduled upgrades of the West Wing's creaky heating and cooling system during the steamy Washington summer as a reason why Trump was leaving town.

The massive facility with 36 holes of golf is where Trump's daughter Ivanka wed and where he reportedly thought of being buried.