President Trump discussed replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Sessions’ own chief of staff, The Washington Post reports. Sources told the newspaper that the specifics of the conversation between Trump and Matt Whitaker were unclear. For example, it was not made clear to the Post whether Whitaker would take over on an “interim basis” or be promoted to a more “permanent capacity” if Sessions had left. It was also unclear how “definitive” Trump’s intentions were. The conversation discussing Whitaker taking over as attorney general reportedly occurred when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to resign after reports indicated he had spoken about wiretapping the president. At the time, Whitaker reportedly was lined up to replace Rosenstein in an “acting capacity” while Solicitor General Noel Francisco would oversee special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible Russian collusion by the Trump campaign. Trump has publicly expressed his disapproval of Sessions on multiple occasions since the attorney general recused himself from overseeing the Mueller’s investigation. The Post reports that Rosenstein and Sessions are safe from firing until the midterm elections, but the Justice Department expects them to be fired “in short order” after that.
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