A new book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman says former President Donald Trump routinely used a slur often used to describe individuals with learning disabilities when speaking of the first person to serve as attorney general in his administration, ex-Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
Mr. Sessions, who was the first member of the Senate to support Mr. Trump in the 2016 election and advise his campaign, drew the then president’s anger and contempt after following the Justice Department’s policies. to withdraw from the Department’s investigation into links between Mr Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.
While he enthusiastically implemented Trump’s harsh criminal justice and immigration policies, Mr. Sessions’ decision not to interfere in an investigation he could have witnessed became a source of consternation for the president, who has often been mocked during the campaign. floated with the southern Alabamian accent. political meetings.
In Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, Ms. Haberman writes that Mr. Trump’s anger at Mr. Sessions was such that he routinely ranted at officials over the attorney general’s refusal to resign.
“When officials wanted to distract Trump from a rant directed against them, they called the Justice Department,” she wrote.
Ms. Haberman added that in response, Trump would complain that he would be given credit for nominating Mr. Sessions to the highest position of the Justice Department as “the first mentally retarded attorney general” in US history. .
Mr. Trump and Mr. Sessions often clashed over the latter’s refusal to allow his department to operate as a weapon against Mr. Trump’s political enemies, with Mr. Sessions stating in a 2018 statement that the DOJ “[would] not be unduely influenced by political considerations” under his charge after Mr. Trump complained that he “never took control of the department.”
Mr. Sessions resigned after the 2018 midterm elections, and Mr. Trump would later retaliate by thwarting his bid to return to the Senate in the 2020 election.