President Donald Trump lashed out at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House committee investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, in a set of Monday morning tweets.
The president called Sessions, who he's had a strained relationship with since the attorney general recused himself from investigations related to Trump's campaign, "beleaguered" and asked why the Justice Department and Congress aren't investigating "Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations."
Following up with another tweet minutes later, Trump called Schiff "sleazy" and "totally biased," and accused him of spending "all of his time on television pushing the Dem loss excuse!"
In a remarkable admission during an interview with The New York Times last week, Trump said that he would not have chosen Sessions to be attorney general had he known that he would recuse himself from the ongoing Russia investigation.
"Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else," Trump told the Times.
A former Alabama senator who was one of the earliest supporters of and an important surrogate for the Trump campaign, Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March, after it was revealed that he failed to disclose at least two meetings he had with the Russian ambassador to the US during the course of the campaign.
Reports have circulated for months that Trump felt hamstrung by Sessions' recusal, and reports emerged in early June that Sessions had offered to resign amid heightening tensions between the two.
Responding to Trump's comments last week, Sessions told reporters that he plans to remain in his role "as long as that is appropriate."
Later on Monday morning, Schiff shot back at Trump on Twitter, calling his comments "beneath the dignity of the office" and accused him of spending too much time watching TV.
According to an April Washington Post report, Trump routinely watches a host of cable news networks, starting his mornings off with CNBC's "Squawk Box," Fox Business Network's "Mornings With Maria" which is hosted by Maria Bartiromo, and Fox News's "Fox and Friends." Trump has repeatedly praised "Fox and Friends" for its favorable coverage towards him, while blasting networks like MSNBC and CNN for their more critical coverage of his administration and policies. He has called the latter "fake news" on a number of occasions, both in public and on Twitter.
At night, the report said, the president occasionally "hate-watches" cable news shows that are critical of him, sometimes talking on the phone with friends while doing so. Shows and journalists that Trump has frequently lampooned include MSNBC's "Morning Joe," NBC's "Nightly News," and CNN's Jeff Zeleny and Don Lemon.
Trump is reportedly sensitive to comments about his TV-watching habits and earlier this month tweeted that he has "very little time for watching T.V."
"He gets very irritated when we all report that he watches a lot of TV. He does watch a lot of TV-it doesn't seem like that's a massively controversial statement," Maggie Haberman, a Times reporter who has covered Trump extensively, told The New Yorker last week. "But he doesn't like when that is said because he thinks it's shorthand for saying he doesn't work that hard."
Sonam Sheth contributed to this report.
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