Trump tweets he wishes he picked different AG

President Trump attacked Attorney General Jeff Session over Twitter after the New York Times reported that Trump pressured Sessions to reverse his decision to recuse himself from oversight of the Russia investigation.

Posted: May 30, 2018 9:02 PM
Updated: May 30, 2018 9:04 PM

Imagine this scenario: You wake up on a Wednesday morning. You scroll through Twitter to see what's happened overnight. And you come across a tweet from your boss in which he says he would/should never have hired you.

Happy Hump Day!

That's the nightmare that Attorney General Jeff Sessions woke up to this morning. "I wish I did!" tweeted President Donald Trump in response to a quote from Rep. Trey Gowdy in which the South Carolina Republican said Trump "could have picked somebody else" for AG who might not have recused himself or herself from the ongoing Russia probe.

This is not the first time that Trump has savaged Sessions publicly. It's not the second time. Or the third. Trump has repeatedly told news organizations that he wouldn't have hired Sessions if he knew the attorney general would recuse himself in the Russia probe. He has referred to Sessions in tweets as "beleaguered," very weak" and "disgraceful." He has teased Sessions by referring to him as "Mr. Magoo."

It's very, very difficult for even the most ardent supporters of Trump to justify this behavior. Senators who have served with Sessions have repeatedly urged Trump to cut it out using the "stop, stop, he's already dead!" defense.

"I think (Sessions) removed himself appropriately from all things Russia and 2016, so when the President beats on Jeff Sessions, I think it's inappropriate 'cause he doesn't have the ability to make these decisions," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN in March.

Looking at how Trump has treated Sessions, it's impossible to conclude anything other than this: The President of the United States is a really awful boss.

How else can you describe someone who bullies their underlings? Who publicly attacks them? Who calls them names? Who refuses to fire them, choosing instead to simply embarrass them enough times to force them to quit?

Any boss who treated an underling like this in a more traditional work setting would likely have to go through some forced management training or run the risk of being fired themselves. Of course, Trump can't be fired. And Sessions isn't likely to complain to the HR person for the Justice Department. This job is the pinnacle of his career and he has demonstrated time and time again he is willing to take the slings and arrows from Trump as long as he can keep his job.

Later Wednesday, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said he doesn't believe Trump would fire Sessions -- but added that didn't mean Sessions' job is 100% safe.

"There's no doubt he's complained about him," Giuliani told reporters in a gaggle on the South Lawn, CNN's Kaitlan Collins reported. "There's no doubt he has some, some grievances. I don't know if they've aired them out yet, but he's not going to fire him before this is over, nor do I think he should."

It's not just his public bullying of Sessions that makes Trump a bad boss. It's his willingness to let (force?) his aides to fight it out -- figuratively, not literally -- in front of him.

"They all want a piece of that Oval Office, they want a piece of the West Wing," Trump said in March. "It's tough. I like conflict, I like having two people with different points of view, and I certainly have that. And then I make a decision. But I like watching it, I like seeing it, and I think it's the best way to go."

And, according to Axios' Jonathan Swan, the fight-while-I-watch approach has played out in real life in the Oval Office of late. Swan writes:

"Shortly after word leaked that Kelly Sadler had taken a nasty shot at John McCain, President Trump convened a meeting in the Oval Office for a tiny group of communications staffers, according to sources familiar with the gathering. Sadler, Mercedes Schlapp, Raj Shah, and John Kelly all gathered in front of the Resolute Desk for a conversation with Trump about the leaking problem. They were the only people in the room, though the door to the outer Oval was open.

"What happened: The president told Sadler she wouldn't be fired for her remark. He added, separately in the conversation, that he's no fan of McCain. Then Trump, who had grown obsessed with the leaking problem, told Sadler he wanted to know who the leakers were. Sadler then stunned the room: To be completely honest, she said, she thought one of the worst leakers was Schlapp, her boss."

That approach isn't exactly Management 101. Creating an environment in which aides feel pitted against one another -- and, in some instances, actually are pitted against one another -- breeds dissension, pettiness and altogether too much focus on who's up and who's down as opposed to what is getting done.

All of this is how Trump wants it. He likes keeping a mental list of his favorites (and those who have fallen out of favor) among his staff and Cabinet members. He doesn't mind leaking a tidbit here and there that makes clear where everyone stands in his hierarchy at any given moment and/or who he is happy (or unhappy) with at any given moment.

Trump's Platonic ideal of the work environment is represented by the boardroom scenes he and "The Apprentice" executive producer Mark Burnett created. A handful of staffers on one side of the table, all begging, cajoling and ratting on one another to win his affection. Trump, with a smaller cadre of his most trusted -- at the moment -- aides sitting in judgment. Trump, both listening to the advice of his advisers and often making calls based solely on his own gut.

It all makes for one hell of a television show. It works far less well in the real world.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
St. Joseph41155584
Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
LaPorte13961235
Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
Kosciusko11150134
Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
Lawrence6803150
Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
Harrison587984
Huntington586490
Montgomery5663101
DeKalb555691
Knox532999
Miami523183
Clinton522464
Putnam519067
Whitley509851
Steuben480267
Wabash470192
Jasper465760
Jefferson456091
Ripley439074
Adams435565
Daviess4008106
Scott389563
White383457
Decatur376895
Clay376455
Greene375589
Wells375183
Fayette363074
Posey351841
Jennings341756
Washington324046
LaGrange312074
Spencer310734
Fountain306553
Randolph302087
Sullivan294947
Owen275961
Orange269659
Starke268961
Fulton264451
Jay248134
Perry244950
Carroll239926
Franklin229337
Vermillion225850
Rush225530
Parke212020
Tipton205354
Pike200938
Blackford163834
Pulaski155250
Crawford140818
Benton138316
Newton138141
Brown130646
Martin124416
Switzerland122310
Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
Unassigned0461

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1319265

Reported Deaths: 21265
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1480641537
Cuyahoga1311202313
Hamilton948871307
Montgomery647451122
Summit548531041
Lucas49502853
Butler45993649
Stark39954963
Lorain30438525
Warren29170326
Mahoning25988629
Clermont24726278
Lake24088411
Delaware21722140
Licking19822239
Fairfield19780218
Greene19671266
Medina19208285
Trumbull19195506
Clark17188321
Portage15585224
Richland15540228
Wood15187208
Allen13654254
Miami13283244
Muskingum11821148
Wayne11448234
Columbiana11100239
Tuscarawas10388264
Marion10273144
Pickaway10162128
Scioto9766124
Erie9479170
Ross8979172
Lawrence8225116
Hancock8105140
Ashtabula8083184
Geauga7976155
Belmont7791183
Jefferson7093168
Huron7087125
Union703549
Washington6823116
Athens666163
Sandusky6608132
Darke6394135
Knox6308120
Seneca6113135
Auglaize569888
Ashland5631110
Shelby555799
Mercer545188
Brown533067
Defiance5278100
Madison527368
Crawford5148113
Highland514876
Fulton508781
Clinton505379
Logan494582
Preble4788110
Putnam4733106
Guernsey439057
Williams437281
Champaign426463
Ottawa425783
Perry414051
Jackson402259
Pike367140
Morrow359149
Fayette353951
Coshocton345064
Hardin341868
Adams338864
Gallia329254
Holmes3148107
Henry312668
Van Wert299269
Hocking280467
Wyandot271858
Carroll250451
Paulding231742
Meigs197842
Monroe178649
Noble160340
Morgan153528
Harrison145740
Vinton130217
Unassigned05
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