Jeff Sessions resigns at Trump's request
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions often found himself at odds with the president during his nearly two-year tenure.
- Matthew G. Whitaker, the former chief of staff to Sessions, will take over as acting attorney general.
- President Donald Trump requested Sessions to resign one day after the midterm elections.
- Sessions was often brutally criticized by Trump, primarily for recusing himself from the Russia probe.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepped down from his position on Wednesday after President Donald Trump asked him to resign.
Trump said Matthew G. Whitaker, the former chief of staff to Sessions, will become the acting attorney general until a permanent replacement is appointed at a later date.
"We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
Sessions' resignation marks the end of a tumultuous tenure that last almost two years, during which the Republican attorney general was often on the receiving end of harsh criticism from the president and his allies.
Perhaps most notably, Sessions enraged Trump by deciding to recuse himself from the Russia probe, citing inherent conflicts of interest in the situation.
"I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in," Sessions said.
Trump openly expressed regret at his decision to nominate Sessions.
"The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn't tell me he was going to recuse himself," Trump tweeted. "I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined … and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!"
In an interview with Fox News from August, Trump again criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe, and for not informing him of his decision prior to the official announcement.
"What kind of man is this?" Trump said.
Sessions responded quickly with a statement.
"While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations," Sessions said. "I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action."
Sessions resignation (or effective firing) comes just one day after the midterm elections. That's not an accident, as Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina suggested to reporters in August.
"That's an important office in the country and after the election, I think there will be some serious discussions about a new Attorney General."
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
"Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized," Fox News' president said in a statement.
- On Tuesday, CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for allegedly violating the First and Fifth Amendments when it revoked Jim Acosta's press badge.
- Opinions on Acosta may vary among media professionals, though the general consensus seems to be that administrations shouldn't bar journalists from the White House based on the content of their reporting.
- White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who had tweeted a doctored video of the heated exchange between Acosta and President Donald Trump, described CNN's lawsuit as "more grandstanding."
Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.
- Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
- 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
- On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
A new report outlines how the CIA considered using a drug called Versed on detainees in the years following 9/11.
- The 90-page report was released to the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday.
- It describes how the CIA researched past attempts by governments to find an effective 'truth serum', including the agency's infamous MK-Ultra program.
- Ultimately, the agency decided not to ask the Justice Department to approve drug-assisted interrogations.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.