National News

Trump Escalates Attack on Sessions, Calling Him ‘Scared Stiff’

Posted August 11, 2018 6:54 p.m. EDT

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — President Donald Trump escalated his attacks on Saturday against his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, describing him as “scared stiff” by an issue related to the Russia investigation that the president has privately railed to his aides has received insufficient news coverage.

Trump’s latest broadside included some of his harshest language yet against Sessions, whom the president begrudges for recusing himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials in 2016.

“I have never seen anything so Rigged in my life,” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to reports about meetings between a Justice Department official and a former British spy who helped compile a dossier that contained unverified but potentially damaging allegations about Trump. “Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action.”

The reports, featured mostly in conservative news outlets, suggest that even after the Justice Department stopped using the former spy, Christopher Steele, as an informant, he continued to meet with a top official at the agency, Bruce Ohr.

For months, Republicans have attacked Ohr because his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked as a contractor for FusionGPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele. The two men had known each other before Steele began working for Fusion.

But Ohr worked on counternarcotics at the Justice Department, not counterintelligence, and he is not known to have played any role in the Russia investigation.

The president has repeatedly insisted that the investigation began with the dossier, paid for in part by Hillary Clinton’s allies, but the inquiry was prompted in part by a diplomat’s tip about a former Trump campaign adviser.

He has also continued to criticize Sessions, accusing his attorney general of taking a “weak” position over prosecuting Clinton for issues that have long been considered settled by the Justice Department.

Earlier in the week at his golf club here, Trump watched Fox News as it described the meetings between Ohr and Steele. “See that?” the president said to those near him, adding that was what the news media should be covering, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

Later on Saturday, Trump appeared in a suit and tie with more than 100 bikers from the New Jersey chapter of Bikers for Trump. Thunderstorms thwarted a planned photo shoot outdoors, so Trump spoke with the bikers inside a chandeliered ballroom at the club for about an hour. Once the skies began to clear, . Trump joined some of the bikers near the front steps and posed for photos.

It was a mosaic of Secret Service agents, campaign advisers, bikers, gleaming motorcycles, the president and the cobblestone driveway of his private golf course.