Attacking Sessions is Not a Smart Move
Robert Sasso, Politics Contributor
Once again President Trump is spouting off on Twitter. This time his attacks are geared toward Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Starting on July 25th he tweeted out "Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!" This is hypocritical of Trump. Nearly two weeks after the election his aide stated they would not be pursuing charges for Hillary Clinton. Why would he call him out for this? Trump is not happy with Sessions. During a New York Times interview, he stated: "Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else."
This move is not popular even amongst Trump's best allies. Breitbart ran an article titled "Jeff Sessions: A Man Who Embodies the Movement That Elected Donald Trump President." Even Tucker Carlson, a major Trump ally, has said: "Jeff Sessions is doing what he was hired to do."
Why has Trump lost some of his most ardent supporters in the battle? He is dividing his administration along dangerous lines. Those who are supporting Sessions understand his importance in the administration. On the 28th of February last year, Sessions became the first Senator to endorse then candidate Trump. He stated, "[this movement] has the potential to have the American people’s voices heard for a change." Sessions signed on because of immigration and knew Trump best supported his agenda. Sessions is in a perfect spot to crack down on illegal immigration and enforce the laws on the border. Sessions is a strong, conservative member of the cabinet.
The other sect of the administration is not policy, but loyalty based. Trump is currently looking for members of his administration to prove their personal loyalty to Trump. The biggest proof of this new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci is Trump loyalist and his appearances are proving so. The Daily Show cut a video showing how Scaramucci has modeled Trump's hand motions. Also, he has gone out and vouched heavily for Trump vowing to fire the whole comms team until the leakers are gone.
The major conflict moving forward is which side will win out. If Trump only installs those who agree with him, the result will be disastrous. The reason this will not work because Trump will not move towards the right, who are largely responsible for his victory. Instead, with names like Jared Kushner and Ivanka hanging around the administration he will move to the left. This will show Trump is just worried about having it his way. This will create a rift for voters who did not vote for him with enthusiasm. Losing those conservatives who were skeptical of him in 2020 will spell disaster in the states he flipped in 2016.
If the conservatives are able to win out, it will benefit the Trump administration. If the Sessions conflict blows over or they reconcile Trump will benefit. Keeping those who are pushing his policies the hardest are important. Sessions will not always choose to defend Trump because they may not always agree. However, if he promulgates policy out of the Justice Department which Trump campaigned on, the Republicans can win. Those who are offering policy for Trump are his friends. Americans are excited about his agenda while they may not enjoy Trump himself. While Sessions may not support prosecuting Hillary or does not stump for Trump every step of the way, he must be a part of the administration. Sessions, as Trump's first ally in the Senate, is someone who is on both sides of the argument. He is an ardent Trump supporter and his immigration reform, and he has a lot of Senate allies and is friendly to the Tea Party conservative base. Sessions is a fine member of the administration.
In the future, it is evident Trump must not act rash. Removing members for some small reasons will not sit well with his base. Despite Trump liking those who express personal loyalty, they will not offer the best, conservative policy he needs to be a success. On top of all the controversy in his administration, his cabinet has been running relatively smoothly. Trump has had success here because he has directed attention elsewhere. However, he is now using his bully pulpit to go after allies. This can be dangerous for future conflicts where policy discussions cannot happen because of fear in the dispute will end in a termination. Trump is powerful and he should use it to push policy and attack enemies, not those who support him the most.
Follow this author on Twitter: @realrobertsasso
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