>> US Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepping down Wednesday at the request of the president. His resignation following a tumultuous tenure at the Justice Department. That saw him transformed from one of Trump's staunchest early supporters into a punching bag for a president fuming over the Department of Justice's Russia probe.
The president on Wednesday thanked Sessions for his service, saying his replacement will be nominated at a later date. Trump soured on Sessions quickly after the Attorney General announced he would recuse himself from a Justice Department probe into allegations the president's campaign coordinated with Russia to win the 2016 election.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein taking over those duties, eventually, appointing Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate. A development Trump appeared to blame on Sessions.>> The Attorney General made a terrible mistake when he did this and when he recused himself. Or he should have certainly let us know if he was going to recuse himself.
And we would've put a different Attorney General then.>> The president repeatedly attacked the Alabama Republican on Twitter. Calling him very weak, sharing news reports calling Sessions' recusal a betrayal of the president. And saying the Attorney General should stop this rigged witch hunt right now. Trump's allies, such as South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, openly mused that the president would fire Sessions after the US Congressional elections.
>> Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn't have the confidence of the president. After the election, I think there will be some serious discussions about a new Attorney General.>> And with Sessions gone, the next AG will be able to more directly oversee and potentially terminate Muller's investigation into Trump and Trump's associates.
Trump announcing that Matthew Whitaker would serve as acting Attorney General for now. Whitaker wrote an opinion piece for CNN last year saying Mueller's investigation is going too far. The special council has so far indicted or secured guilty pleas from four former Trump advisors and 26 Russian nationals.