More GOP Leaders Continue To Defend Sessions

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham joined a number of well-known Republicans in defending Attorney General Jeff Sessions over President Donald Trump’s ongoing criticism of Sessions Wednesday.

Graham is just one of the many conservative voices that have publicly taken Sessions’ side, telling Politico he called the attorney general and told him to “hang in there.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Former South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, former Trump transition domestic policy chief and Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins all have publicly spoken in support of Sessions since Trump’s negative comments about the attorney general.

“He’s trying to get Sessions to quit and I hope Sessions doesn’t quit. If the president wants to fire him, fire him,” Graham said. “I think anybody who’s strong would use the power they have and be confident in his decision. Strong people say: ‘I’ve decided this man or woman can’t serve me well and I’m going to act accordingly and take the consequence.’ To me weakness is when you play around the edges and don’t use the power you have.” (RELATED: Lindsey Graham: ‘Holy Hell To Pay’ If Trump Fires Sessions)

Gingrich is a Trump supporter but also believes the president should stop attacking Sessions publicly. Gingrich was at the White House Tuesday and spoke with the president.

“I think he should keep Jeff Sessions. And I think he ought to quit publicly maligning him,” Gingrich said on NPR early Wednesday. “I think that Jeff Sessions, in fact, was one of his earliest and most loyal supporters. I think Jeff Sessions is a solid conservative. I think, yeah, you can argue either way. I mean, even a guy like Rudy Giuliani, who’s very pro-Trump, said he would have recused himself.”

DeMint thinks Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stay right where he is in his job, according to an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.

“It would be very disappointing if Sessions left,” DeMint said about the possibility of President Donald Trump demanding his resignation. “I can understand the president’s frustrations, seriously. With the recusal, with the fact that this Russian thing continues to go on.”

Blackwell, who worked on Trump’s transition team said, “As someone who has worked with Attorney General Sessions most recently on President Trump’s transition team, I cannot speak highly enough about General Sessions credentials and integrity as the nation’s top law enforcement officer or about his loyalty to President Trump.”

Sessions said that he intends to continue to serve in his position despite Trump’s criticism. “I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate,” Sessions said at a Department of Justice news conference on July 20. “We’re serving right now. What we’re doing today is the kind of work that we intend to continue.”

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