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Jeff Sessions

The White House said Trump 'clearly' has confidence in Sessions

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Updated July 20, 2017 03:31 PM EDT

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said President Trump has confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions despite criticizing him in an interview the day before.

"Clearly he has confidence in him, or he would not be attorney general," she said Thursday, according to The Washington Examiner.

"As he said, he was disappointed that the attorney general made the decision to recuse himself and certainly that he didn't tell him before taking the job," Huckabee Sanders added, noting Trump and Sessions had not spoken in the last 24 hours.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that he plans to continue in his job despite President Trump's criticism of his recusal from the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"We love this job. We love this department, and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate," Sessions said during a press conference at the Department of Justice.

Sessions' remarks came after Trump told The New York Times on Wednesday he would have hired another person if he knew in advance that Sessions would recuse himself.

“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else," Trump said.

"How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, 'Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you,'" the president added.

Trump claims that Sessions' recusal ultimately led to the investigation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been overseeing since May 17.

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