Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl about the “shame” President Donald Trump is out.
“The president has been out of the country for so many months, and for so much of the last year, and he’s been very focused on his business, and his family, and how he’s being managed and he has not had a very good week, so I think the question is, is it a shame to leave the country and to not have the opportunity to make decisions in this country?”
Karl asked Sessions during a wide-ranging interview.
Sessions added that the Department of Justice has no control over what the president does.
“There is no way for me to tell the president what he should be doing,” he said.
Sessions was also asked whether the FBI has been the subject of “extremist activity” in recent weeks.
“I think it’s an exaggeration, Jonathan, to say that there has been anything of this magnitude, as we’ve heard over and over and through the course of this administration,” Sessions replied.
“It’s an understatement to say there has not been anything that has crossed the line.
The president has not shown a willingness to work with us, and I think he has an obligation to us as well, to try to resolve this.”
Sensing the growing criticism over the president’s behavior, Sessions on Friday told reporters that he wants to be in charge of the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
Sets of memos released by the FBI earlier this month indicated that the agency was investigating possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, and whether Trump obstructed justice in his response to the investigation.
Trump was criticized by Democrats after he fired former FBI Director James Comey in May, and the White House later suggested that Sessions could be a possible target of the probe.
The attorney general said he hasn’t spoken to Sessions since the firing.
“As you know, I was fired from the FBI, so this is a very long time ago.
And so, I would not comment on whether or not I spoke to the president about that,” Sessions said on Thursday.
“But I know that he is very disappointed in the way things went down.
I am glad that he didn’t fire me.”ABC News’ Aaron Blake contributed to this report.