Donald Trump seems to be proceeding with his strategy of ostracizing high-ranking members of his administration, this time going after Mr. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, Esq., known for having a name that sounds very, very believably like that of a Civil War general (I’ll let the readers make up their own minds as to which side).
It is well documented at this point that Donald Trump has had it with Jeff Sessions. If Trumps force-out attempts are successful, that would make Sessions the second senior staff member to be pushed out of the administration in weeks, which is never a good look for a president 6 months into his first term.
Trump may or may not have his reasons to be done with Sessions. If he thinks someone else would be better for enacting his policies, then it is the President’s prerogative to figure that out, and it’s his prerogative to tell Scaramucci to figure it out and spin the story however Trump wants him to. That said, publicly forcing out Jeff Sessions, much like firing him, is a risky endeavor for reasons beyond pure policy.
Jeff Sessions was an early Trump supporter, one of his first in Washington. He’s been on board with the Trump message almost completely, save for his recusal from the Russia investigation. What kind of message does Trump send to Congress and his administration when he demands total loyalty from his supporters but then refuses to stay loyal to them when the going gets tough? Politics is all about incentive, and right now it doesn’t seem like there is a whole lot of incentive for joining the Trump team when one of his earliest Washington supporters gets thrown under the bus for doing something that most politicians would have done in Sessions’ position (recuse themselves).
Trump is in desperate need of loyal allies in Congress as he tries to salvage his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, and he is in many respects forcing GOP congressmen and women to choose between the party/presidency and their constituents, who will likely be boned by whatever draconian bill the GOP whips up (the Trumpcare bill that passed the House is a good barometer). Publicly shaming a top ally and member of your administration is probably a bad thing to do strategically considering that many Republican senators still have yet to make up their minds.
What is more, Jeff Sessions is a powerful man. He’s been in the senate a dog’s age and has a lot of friends on the inside. While he’s not about to sabotage a GOP administration out of spite, you can bet that his buddies in the senate will not take kindly to this treatment. If nothing else, it’s one more reason for Republicans to dislike Trump on a personal level while tolerating him (for now) on a political level. That strategy works for Trump now while he is raising good campaign money and has some clout with the voters, but if his colleagues hate him personally they will surely have a plan in place for when he loses his political capital, and that plan does not involve sacrificing their careers.
And, oh yeah, what if Sessions doesn’t leave? Donald Einstein Trump evidently thought he didn’t have enough enemies in Washington so he decided to make one out of the nation’s head law-enforcer (someone get BigBird on the line, I think I have a bold move for him). Not to mention Sessions feels that he knows enough dirt about the Russia scandal that he couldn’t in good conscience (and that’s a hard working conscience if ever there was one) be involved in its investigation. Trump has acted all buddy buddy with Mike Flynn to stop him from singing the administration’s secrets, so going after Jeffy is one hell of a crazy move.