Attorney General Jeff Sessions intends to stay on as the country's top law enforcement official as long as President Donald Trump wants him in the job.
That was the message Sessions delivered in an interview with The Associated Press on July 27.
"I serve at the pleasure of the president," Sessions said. "I've understood that from the day I took the job."
The attorney general added that Trump had every right to find a replacement for him.
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Sessions traveled to El Salvador on July 27 to discuss ways to combat to the MS-13 gang. The attorney general will reportedly tour a detention facility and meet with former members of the gang as part of efforts to develop a transnational strategy to reduce crime.
"They're ruthless," Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said of MS-13 to NPR. "They will kill without blinking an eye. We had a young lady that was brutally raped and murdered. And just the lack of empathy, the lack of respect, the lack of human decency with these guys ... they celebrate homicide."
Sessions commented that he shares many values with Trump. However, the feud between the two during the last weeks of July has left many questioning whether Sessions will remain in the job.
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During an interview, Trump criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, and attacked him for being "beleaguered" and weak on investigating Hillary Clinton in a series of tweets.
Republican Rep. David Brat of Virginia alleged the media had provoked the dispute. He was asked on CNN whether he blamed Trump.
"No, no, I don't," Brat said, reports The Hill. "I mean, the mainstream press has just been relentless."
"I mean, we see the stats come out this week -- health care gets 5 percent of coverage, the budget gets 2 percent of coverage and Washington gets 90 percent of coverage," he added.
Others, including Republican Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, have indicated their opposition to any attempt to remove Sessions.
"Everybody in D.C. shld be warned that the agenda for the judiciary Comm is set for rest of 2017," Grassley wrote on Twitter, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Judges first subcabinet second / AG no way."
If Trump fired Sessions and the Senate prevented him from appointing a replacement, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would serve as acting attorney general.
One Republican and two Democratic senators told AP on July 27 that they are working on legislation to prevent Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed by Rosenstein to oversee the Russia probe, from being fired without a judicial review.
Sources: AP News, The Hill, NPR, Los Angeles Times / Photo credit: Office of the President-elect/Wikimedia Commons, Department of Homeland Security/Wikimedia Commons, US Embassy France/Wikimedia Commons