âIf an early supporter like this is thrown under the bus, then who is safe?â asked Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and a supporter of stricter immigration policies like those promoted by Mr. Sessions. âYou can imagine what the other cabinet secretaries are thinking.â
That may not bother Mr. Trump, who seems to thrive on slapping those close to him and keeping them on edge. Notoriously fickle, he left Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, on the hook for six months before his resignation last week. Reince Priebus, the chief of staff, is still on the bubble and said to be looking for a graceful exit of his own.
But that does not necessarily mean that Mr. Trump will push out Mr. Sessions. Stephen K. Bannon, the chief White House strategist, was in trouble a few months ago, but survived. For Mr. Trump, the former reality-show star, the suspense over Mr. Sessions is a season-ending cliffhanger: Stay tuned to see whether he gets voted off the island.
Mr. Trump raised the dramatic tension on Tuesday with a morning message on Twitter: âAttorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!â
Mr. Trump repeated at a news conference later in the day what he told The New York Times last week: that he would not have appointed Mr. Sessions if he had known that the attorney general would step back from the Russia inquiry. âI am disappointed in the attorney general,â he said in the White House Rose Garden.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump dismissed the notion that Mr. Sessions, as the first senator to endorse his candidacy, deserved special loyalty.
âWhen they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama,â Mr. Trump said. âI had 40,000 people. He was a senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a…