Republican Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia said on CNN Thursday the media “forced” President Donald Trump’s hand with regard to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, highlighting the “relentless” coverage of the Russia investigation.
Brat said nearly all the coverage from the major networks is devoted to Russia when they should be covering health care, the economy, and other domestic issues. He believes that the increased scrutiny frustrated Trump to the point where he had to hold someone responsible, finally settling on Sessions.
Brat had high praise for the attorney general but sympathized with Trump’s position adding, “You can understand why the president is frustrated.”
Host Kate Bolduan thought Brat was giving the mainstream media too much credit for having that level of influence over the White House. “As much as I would love more power, there is no way that the media is powerful enough to force a president to talk to The New York Times.”
“You forced his hand,” Brat replied.
Brat clarified he was not suggesting the media coerced Trump directly but rather “made him frustrated” enough to trigger his feud with Sessions.
Rumors continue to circulate that Trump is contemplating a recess appointment to replace Sessions, but Democrats have publicly stated they will oppose any such measure in the Senate.
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