Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that he plans to stay in his job despite the president’s public assertion that he would not have nominated Sessions to the post had he known that he would recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Sessions said he had the ‘‘honor of serving as attorney general,’’ and he planned ‘‘to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate.’’ Asked how he could keep working, having apparently lost President Donald Trump’s confidence, Sessions responded: ‘‘We’re serving right now. The work we’re doing today is the kind of work that we intend to continue.
‘‘I’m totally confident that we can continue to run this office in an effective way,’’ Sessions added.
On Wednesday, The New York Times published an article about an interview with Trump in which the president said he would not have appointed Sessions attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
‘‘Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else,’’ Trump said, according to The New York Times.
Sessions’ recusal came after The Washington Post reported that he had met with Russia’s ambassador to the United States and had not disclosed the contacts when the matter came up at his congressional confirmation hearing.
Sessions has said he recused himself because he had involvement with the Trump campaign. That led to Rod Rosenstein, whom Trump appointed deputy attorney general, leading the probe, though he would later appoint former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee it.