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Sessions issued a rare rebuke of President Donald Trump on Thursday, saying the Justice Department would "not be improperly influenced by political considerations".

That was a response to Mr. Trump's interview with "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning in which Mr. Trump said Sessions never "took control" of the Justice Department.

Sessions' statement was a rare broadside in response to TV and Twitter criticism by Trump of the department, which he and supporters accuse of perpetuating a "witch hunt" in the Russian Federation investigation and going soft on Democrats.

Nowadays, each time President Trump mentions his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it's to criticize him.

He said it's been "an emotionally tolling week for the president, because these are very close friends" who are either flipping on him or being given immunity. Each time his aides and advisers have staved off his impulse, arguing to the President that such a move could damage him politically and present further problems with special counsel Robert Mueller.

On Twitter, Trump detailed who he wanted investigated.

The sparring match between the president and the attorney general extended the public war that Trump has waged for more than a year on the Justice Department, training most of his fire on the special counsel investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

He said replacing Sessions before the November election would be a "non-starter". But Sessions insists he has been in control of the DOJ since the day he was sworn in. Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn't have done.

Sessions found himself forced to react because of Trump's charge that he never took control of the department.

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"I do have time for hearings on nominees that the president might send up here that I didn't have previous year, " Grassley of Iowa said Thursday.

John Cornyn, the Senate's second-ranking Republican, defended Sessions, a former senator, as an "honorable man" dedicated to the rule of law.

Politico reports that Republicans have warned Trump not to remove Sessions from his role because "they would not confirm a successor". But Lindsey Graham, a key Republican senator who has the ears of Trump, has said a change is imminent.

The South Carolina senator predicted this week, the president would eventually be appointing a new attorney general, shortly after the midterms.

Victor had leaked a USA report that detailed a Russian hacking attack aimed at voting systems before the 2016 election. The Kremlin has denied the allegations and Trump has denied any collusion.

He also renewed his attacks on Mr Sessions in an apparent attempt to have him end investigations that could endanger his presidency. When asked, Trump didn't dismiss the notion of firing the attorney general.

"It's called flipping and it nearly ought to be illegal", he said.

Inside the White House, though, Trump has put on a game face. He took the job and then he said I'm going to recuse myself.