- The Washington Times - Monday, June 12, 2017

In their first public appearance together in weeks, President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed mutual praise and politeness Monday, despite friction that reportedly led to Mr. Sessions’ offer to resign.

At the first meeting of Mr. Trump’s full Cabinet, Mr. Sessions told the president with no sign of irony, “It’s great to be here and celebrate this group.”

The attorney general updated the Cabinet on the Justice Department’s efforts to reach out to law-enforcement agencies and give them more support from Washington than was the perception during the Obama administration.

“We are receiving, as you know — I’m not sure the rest of you fully understand — the support of law enforcement all over America,” Mr. Sessions told the Cabinet members. “They have been very frustrated. They are so thrilled that we have a new idea that we’re going to support them and work together to properly, [to] lawfully fight the rising crime that we are seeing.”

As if to emphasize his eagerness to remain on the job, Mr. Sessions told the president, “And it’s an honor to be…

“That’s — that’s great,” Mr. Trump interrupted.

“… able to serve you in that regard,” Mr. Sessions said.

“Thank you,” the president said.

“And sends exact right message,” the attorney general continued. “And it’s being responded — the response is fabulous around the country.”

Mr. Trump praised the administration’s “great success, including MS-13,” referring to a brutal gang operating in the U.S.

“They’re being thrown out in record numbers and rapidly,” Mr. Trump said. “And they’re being depleted. They’ll all be gone pretty soon. So, you’re right, Jeff. Thank you very much.”

Mr. Sessions is scheduled to testify publicly Tuesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he’s expected to answer questions about his recusal from an investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump campaign officials, questions that were raised last week during former FBI Director James B. Comey’s testimony to lawmakers.

The president is said to have been angered that Mr. Sessions recused himself, a move that ultimately has led after Mr. Comey’s firing to the appointment of a special counsel to conduct the investigation. Several news outlets reported last week that Mr. Sessions at one point offered to resign.

White House aides were noncommittal for several days last week when asked by reporters whether the president still has confidence in Mr. Sessions. A spokeswoman finally said the president has confidence in the attorney and the rest of his Cabinet.

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