Less than 24 hours after polls closed for the midterm elections, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of President Donald Trump.
“I have been honored to serve as Attorney General and have worked to implement the law enforcement agenda based on the rule of law that formed a central part of your campaign for the Presidency,” Sessions wrote in an undated letter addressed to Trump.
The resignation doesn’t come as a surprise, said Yamiche Alcindor, a White House correspondent with the “PBS NewsHour.”
“For months, the president has been saying publicly on Twitter and in interviews that he was not happy with the way Jeff Sessions was handling the Department of Justice,” she said.
What is surprising, she said, is the timing.
The news followed a press conference with Trump in which there was no mention of Sessions’ resignation. Instead, a heated back-and-forth with reporters unfolded at the White House.
One of those exchanges took place with CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who questioned the president’s use of the word “invasion” in reference to the migrant caravan heading toward the U.S. border. Acosta then asked Trump whether he is concerned with the Russia investigation.
“CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them,” Trump said. “You’re a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible and the way you treat other people is horrible.”
Alcindor was also in a tense exchange with the president, who called her question about a comment he made on the campaign trail “racist.”
I'm simply asking the questions the public wants to know. https://t.co/bZ1cZVBKhd
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 7, 2018
“When I posed the question of whether or not he felt like he was emboldening white nationalists by calling himself a ‘nationalist,’ he took that very to heart,” she said. “He was upset at the fact that I was even suggesting that critics could think he was a racist.”
Alcindor joins us to discuss Sessions, his replacement and the heated news conference.