President Trump spoke with Matthew Whitaker, Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff, about replacing the attorney general in late September, according a DailyMail report.
Trump neither confirmed nor denied his talking with Whitaker during an interview on Fox and Friends Thursday, and said, “I never talk about that but I can tell you Matt Whitaker’s a great guy.”
Whitaker is in a “grooming exercise” to become attorney general, and was expected to replace Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, until his rumored resignation plans were shelved two weeks ago, according to senior Republicans who were cited in the DailyMail article.
Had Whitaker, a former Iowa federal prosecutor, become deputy attorney general, it would have been a dry-run for Sessions’ job. The attorney general’s and deputy attorney general’s unsteady futures have been talked about in the news for months and according to the DailyMail, a farewell message drafted for Sessions to Rosenstein, indicated that Whitaker would have taken his place, had the deputy attorney general resigned.
Who will replace Jeff Sessions, should he resign or be fired, is a hot topic in Washington these days. Senator Lindsay Graham, one possible candidate, said Monday Night he has no interest in joining Trump’s cabinet.
“I think I can do more good for the country and help President Trump more effectively by being in the Senate,” he said. “I will help him when I can, say no when I have to, and I’m going to continue to be South Carolina’s voice the best I know how to be.”