Trump and Sessions spar; Durbin meets with Kavanaugh

It’s been challenging week for President Trump.

His aides are managing fallout from Michael Cohen’s plea deal and the conviction of Paul Manafort.

Amid the turmoil, Trump lashed out.

Thursday morning on Fox News, Trump revived his criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying he never took control of the Justice Department.

“Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in,” he said. “He took the job and then he said, ‘I’m going to recuse myself.’ I said what kind of a man is this?  And by the way, he was on the campaign. You know the only reason I gave him the job, I felt loyalty. He was an original supporter.”

Sessions, in a rare written statement, fired back and said, "While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations … I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in…”

Trump also tried to play down his relationship with longtime fixer Cohen who says he paid hush-money to women at the direction of the president.

“He worked for me. It was more or less part time,” Trump said.

The president is angry over Cohen’s deal with prosecutors suggested it might be better if “flipping” were illegal.

“This whole thing about flipping, they call it. I know all about flipping. For 30, 40 years, I’ve been watching flippers,” Trump said. “Everything is wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever is the next highest one or however high you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed. It’s not fair.”

The president dodged a question about whether he will pardon his former campaign chair Paul Manafort. But he sounds sympathetic.

“I have great respect for what he’s done in terms of what he’s gone through,” he said.

Asked if Democrats retake the House and impeach him, the president warned that would be disastrous, not for him but for the U.S. economy.

“I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who’s done a great job. I tell you what if I ever got impeached I think the market would crash,” he said. “I think everybody would be very poor.”

Also in Washington Wednesday, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin met with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Durbin is not saying whether he will vote to confirm Kavanaugh only that Democrats want access to documents pertaining to Kavanuagh’s time as staff secretary to President George W. Bush

Durbin, who is in leadership, would not say what Democrats’ strategy will be to block Kavanaugh, who can be confirmed with a simple majority of Republican votes.