August 29, 2018

So is Lindsey Graham giving Trump the green light to fire Jeff Sessions? General consensus from CNN New Day panel: Yes.

"Lindsey Graham is stating what a lot of people feel, but is he giving the president a green light by doing that?" Dana Bash said.

"If Donald Trump does takes that action, somehow there wouldn't be the universal condemnation that some people hope will follow such an action," CNN analyst Michael Shear said.

"The danger is not that it happens immediately, but that when it happens, Trump is going to think there will not be the kind of reaction that could hold him back, and that Lindsey Graham will give cover to other Republicans who might be wavering, who might not know how to react, so instead of it being seen as a stepping over a red line, all of a sudden the reaction falls along the same partisan lines that we have seen our country being divided along -- and that undermines, I think, the rule of law, and the idea that there should be a separation between the president and the attorney general whose Justice Department is investigating this president."

"You're right, there is no question that he is trying to give other Republican senators and Democratic senators cover after everyone rallied around Jeff Sessions, which by the way, for those of us that covered the Senate for awhile, it is just so bizarre, because Jeff Sessions was never going to win a popularity contest among his Republican colleagues, but for the past year they have been sort of loving on him," Bash said.

"But one thing he did not say there, which I heard him say elsewhere, is that anybody else who would be nominated, the re replacement, would have to promise under oath in confirmation hearings, that Robert Mueller's investigation would not be messed with, it would continue and be untethered and unfettered. That is an interesting development that we had not seen in the last year. Whether that person can be found, someone that would agree to that or would be agreeable to the president of the United States, that is interesting to me as well.

John Berman said he thought there was another interesting point. "That he is consulting with his personal lawyers about this, the lawyers representing him in a general investigation, talking to his lawyers about whether or not it is a good idea to fire the attorney general of the United States. That's interesting that he thinks their opinion in this case matters. It tells you where his mind is. you have great reporting on what Rudy Giuliani has been telling the president for months now," he said. "I guess they talked him out of it for now?"

"Just to be clear, if the president was riding a bus, he would ask the driver if he should fire Jeff Sessions," Bash said. "That's just the way he is, that's his M.O. He calls people every night saying, 'what do you think of this person? What do you think of that person?' But you're right, that is a little bit unorthodox. "

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