MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Trump Firing Jeff Sessions: This Was 'Done Out of Fear'

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Trump Firing Jeff Sessions: This Was 'Done Out of Fear'

President Donald Trump took a long-expected but still shocking step Wednesday when he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with loyalist Matthew Whitaker.


MSNBC's Rachel Maddow noted that there's a striking parallel to President George W. Bush's firing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after the 2006 midterm elections. Rumsfeld had completely botched the Iraq War, and the voters sent a decisive blow to the Republican Party at the ballot box — so Bush, in turn, took the reasonable step of firing Rumsfeld the next day.

But what's most interesting about the parallel firings is that they were carried out for completely opposite reasons. One was to appease the voters, and the other was to undermine the voters' clear message, as Maddow explained.

"This time, with this firing, instead of making a concession as to what the voters clearly wanted, what the voters said they were concerned about when they went to the polls and voted against the president and the president's party, this time, the firing of a Cabinet official appears to have been done not out of an effort to answer the voters' concerns," said Maddow. "This time, it quite clearly has been done out of fear. The president's fear."

She continued: "The president firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions today appears to be a defensive move to try to stop the special counsel's investigation before Democrats get sworn in for the new Congress — whereupon they would have power through their control on Capitol Hill to protect that investigation."

Watch the clip below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close