President Trump on Thursday pledged to overrule Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he tries to hold up criminal justice reform, sowing more unease amid speculation Sessions may soon be fired.
Trump announced his willingness to supersede Sessions’ authority before sitting down at the White House with his son-in-law Jared Kushner and rapper Kanye West, both of whom have advocated for an overhaul of the criminal justice system, including reducing sentences for non-violent crimes.
“If he doesn’t, then he gets overruled by me,” Trump told Fox News during a wide-ranging interview when asked about Sessions’ opposition to such measures. “There has to be a reform because it’s very unfair right now. It’s very unfair to African-Americans.”
Sessions, a hardline law and order Republican, is vehemently against any type of criminal justice reform and has specifically requested Trump put off the issue off until after next month’s congressional midterms.
“Nope!” a Justice Department spokeswoman emailed the Daily News when asked for comment.
Despite Sessions’ opposition, criminal justice reform is gaining bipartisan momentum on Capitol Hill.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has joined Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in calling on Trump to back criminal justice legislation and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he’s open to bringing the issue to the floor.
Trump’s Thursday jab at Sessions comes amid reports that he is looking to boot the embattled attorney general after the midterms.