Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russia’s influence in the 2016 presidential election in an interview with Time magazine that was published Thursday.
On his recusal from the Russia investigation, Sessions told Time’s Molly Ball, “I think I did the right thing. I don’t think the Attorney General can ask everybody else in the department to follow the rules if the Attorney General doesn’t follow them.”
“I participated in this campaign, and as such, under the explicit regulations of the Department of Justice, no one can participate in an investigation of a campaign in which they were an active participant,” Sessions explained on Fox News in February.
Trump has blasted Sessions over the recusal and told The New York Times last July that if he had known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, he wouldn’t have hired him. He called the recusal "very unfair to the president."
Sessions acknowledged that the president “does get frustrated,” saying, “he’s trying to run this country, and he’s got to spend his time dealing with certain issues.”
During the interview, Sessions also addressed how the Department of Justice’s policies affect minority communities.
“Whose side are you on?” he asked Ball. “I’m on the victims’ side, and overwhelmingly the victims are minorities. The prosecution of certain minorities for murder, the victim is overwhelmingly another African American or Hispanic. It occurs within their own communities.”
“We are protecting minority citizens,” he emphasized. “The fundamental question is, Who rules the streets? The government, or the outlaws?”
Generally on working with the Trump administration, Sessions told Time, “I want to do what the President wants me to do, but I do feel like we’re advancing the agenda that he believes in. And what’s good for me is it’s what I believe in too.”