US President Donald Trump said he was “disappointed” with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his recusal in FBI inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and called the healthcare procedural vote a ‘big step’.

“I am disappointed in the Attorney General. He should not have recused himself,” Trump said during a joint news conference with the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Tuesday, hours after firing off his latest missive targeting Sessions.

“If he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office and I would have quite simply picked someone else,” CNN quoted the President as saying.

Pressed further on whether he wants Sessions to resign, Trump simply added once more that he is “very disappointed” in Sessions.

Trump said he also hopes Sessions will crack down on what “leaks” from various intelligence agencies.

“I want the Attorney General to be much tougher on the leaks from intelligence agencies,” Trump said. “These are intelligence agencies. We cannot have that happen.”

On healthcare, Trump thanked Senator John McCain and all the Republicans, noting that “we passed it without one Democratic vote”, CBS News reported. He also congratulated the American people, saying: “We’re going to give you great health care.”

“Now we move forward towards truly great health care for the American people,” he said. “We look forward to that. This was a big step.”

Trump and Hariri also discussed terrorism issues relating to the IS of and Hezbollah, Lebanon’s autonomous Shiite militia which the US identifies as a terrorist organisation. Hezbollah has allied with Iran in mutual support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s action against Sunni Islamist rebels.

The White House issued a statement on Friday taking a harder stance on hostages detained by Iran saying that “President Trump is prepared to impose new and serious consequences on Iran unless all unjustly imprisoned American citizens are released and returned.”

This marks Trump’s 14th news conference, 13 of which were also joint sessions with foreign leaders.

First Published | 26 July 2017 7:08 AM
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