By any sane person’s reckoning, Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions should have been the key players in the political bromance of the century. They had so much in common. They enjoyed the kind of quirky life parallels that new couples giggle over at dinner and old couples remind themselves of in moments of annoyance: one was named after two Confederate statesmen, the other was raised by a man arrested at a Klan rally, for fighting on the Klan’s side. One was called a racist in public by no less an authority on the subject than Coretta Scott King, and the other famously called for the execution of the innocent Central Park Five. One looks like a well-fed and rosey-cheeked Gollum, the other would make a fine Goblin King at any Halloween party (except for the hands).
So why would two obvious soul-mates like these find themselves on the rocks, as it appears Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump have?
The trouble apparently began when Sessions, at what the Washington Post called a “hastily arranged” press conference, announced his intention to recuse himself from any investigations involving the 2016 campaign, including those on the subject of Russian interference in the electoral process. Whether he abided by that recusal or not is a subject for some debate, but it appears that to Donald Trump, a legally-necessary recusal was a betrayal to his apparatus. As I mentioned last week, that apparatus is essentially a skeleton crew, since hundreds of appointed positions remain unfilled: Trump apparently refuses to trust anyone who didn’t muddy themselves in the electoral slop with him, and, as a result, his administration mostly consists of only his closest allies and fellow subjects of FBI and congressional investigation. Trump may have very well put Sessions in the “Top Cop” post to make sure things like the Russia question could be swept under the rug, and a recusal must have looked almost like the move of a snitch to the warped mind of the chief executive.
According to a Tuesday report by Politico, things have recently become so tense between the pair that Sessions offered to resign before Trump’s first international trip in May. Whether out of nostalgia for what must have been charming candlelit dinners — or due to the simple fact that official Washington seems to be putting a distance the size of the National Mall between themselves and the administration — Trump refused the offer. But the proverbial box has been opened, and now it’s clear to everyone both inside and outside the administration that the greatest white-nationalist bromance in history has soured, leaving Trump with even fewer allies than before.
And as Jeff Sessions’ trip through the Trump power-trip maelstrom reaches its climax, the next victim appears to be caught in the current. Jared Kushner, the President-in-Law and a top advisor, received a Trumpian kiss of death yesterday when the president said that Kushner was “becoming more famous” than he is — a direct parallel to the statement he made about James Comey just before firing him. As Comey prepares to testify tomorrow, Trump’s rage and tendency for vindictive reaction might swallow up two of his most loyal minions at once. At this rate, Trump will run out of racists and swindlers to hire long before he’s impeached.