News & Politics

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

He had to get rid of Sessions before Democrats are sworn in.

Photo Credit: MSNBC

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:

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.