This week Republican Senator Lindsey Graham left a warning for the president, vowing, "If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay" while speaking to CNN Thursday morning.
President Trump is facing backlash from Republican senators after criticizing Attorney General Sessions in a series of tweets and interviews over the past several days. On Twitter, Trump posted:
In two separate interviews with The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the president also voiced his disappointment that Sessions recused himself from the Russian probe investigation, currently being helmed by special investigator Robert Mueller.
On Thursday, Graham told CNN correspondents Manu Raju and David Wright:
As a human being, I think he should show respoect for Jeff Sessions as a person. Jeff Sessions was the most loyal supporter of Donald Trump. A rock-solid conservative, The reason I like him so much is I often disagree with him, but I'd never believe he was a man who lacks integrity or fair play.
This effort to basically marginalize and humiliate the attorney general is not going over well in the Senate. I don't think it's going over well in the conservative world...
...If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency, unless Mueller did something wrong.
Graham's statement illustrates the growing chasm between the president and Republican senators loyal to Sessions.
Despite the divide, Sessions declares he has no plans of resigning and instead is continuing as normal in his position, attending routine meetings with administration officials at the White House on Wednesday. In a statement obtained by Newsmax, Sessions claimed, "We love this job. We love this department. And I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate."
Despite his denouncements of the attorney general, Trump has made no move to fire Sessions or ask for his resignation, saying only that "time will tell" about the AG's future with the administration.