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Jeff Sessions

The White House said Trump wants Sessions to stay on and focus on immigration and leaks

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Updated July 26, 2017 03:06 PM EDT

Incoming White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday said that President Trump wants Jeff Sessions to continue leading the Justice Department despite his repeated public criticism of his attorney general.

"You can be disappointed in someone and want them to continue to do their job," she said at a press briefing. "He's obviously disappointed in [Sessions] but he also wants him to focus on the things that the attorney general does."

"[Trump] wants him to focus on other issues like immigration, leaks," Sanders added. "The president wants his attorney general to focus on his agenda as the attorney general."

Sanders added she did not believe Trump and Sessions had spoken this week despite both men having meetings at the White House.

Updated July 26, 2017 10:19 AM EDT

President Trump continued his criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

Trump questioned why Sessions hasn't replaced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, repeating a charge that McCabe received "big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives."

McCabe's wife, Jill McCabe, ran unsuccessfully for a Virginia state Senate seat in 2015. A political action committee affiliated with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton ally, contributed nearly $500,000 to Jill McCabe's campaign, according to The Wall Street Journal. Jill McCabe also received more than $200,000 from the Virginia Democratic Party.

Trump had brought up McCabe and his wife in criticizing Sessions on Tuesday.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has no intention of resigning despite President Trump’s ongoing public criticism of him, according to The Washington Post.

The Post reported Tuesday that Jody Hunt, Sessions’ chief of staff, recently told White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that the attorney general does not plan on exiting his role.

A person familiar with the conversation said Hunt told Priebus that Sessions “plans to move forward with his agenda in the department and he has no plans for resigning.”

Priebus did not say whether Trump plans on firing Sessions should he not leave, according to people familiar with the pair’s discussion.

Some Twitter users on Tuesday voiced hope that Sessions and Trump would resolve any conflicts dividing them.

Other people on the social media platform criticized Trump for repeatedly lashing out at Sessions in public.

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The Post reported that one Republican close to the White House said a number of Trump’s aides have urged the president and Sessions to meet and resolve their issues.

The aides include new White House communications director Anthony Scarramucci, the Republican added, but there is seemingly little enthusiasm for the huddle.

One informal adviser to the White House said that Trump has not forced out Sessions as the president “doesn’t want to be seen as firing another law enforcement official.”

Trump earlier Tuesday said that he is “very disappointed” in Sessions and that “only time will tell” what will happen to his attorney general.

“But we will see what happens,” he said from the Rose Garden. “Time will tell, time will tell.”

“if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before taking office,” Trump added. “I think that’s a bad thing from for the president, but for the presidency.”

Trump has repeatedly voiced criticism of Sessions following the latter’s recusal from the Justice Department’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

The agency’s investigation reportedly includes whether there was any collusion between Russia and Trump’s election campaign.

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