Jeff Sessions steps down as US attorney general

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, will be acting attorney general.

Sessions announced his resignation in a letter to Trump, saying that the resignation came “at your request”, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States,” Trump tweeted.

“We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

The move took place shortly after a press conference Trump gave at the White House during which he said Sessions’ fate was under consideration. It marked the first cabinet member exit from the Trump administration after the midterm elections, which ended late Tuesday.

Sessions, a former Senator from Alabama, has been a staunch Trump supporter since early stages of the 2016 presidential campaign, and was one of the first nominated to the Trump cabinet.

Sessions’ relationship with Trump soured after he recused himself from the investigation into potential coordination between the president’s Republican campaign and Russia, which prompted Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel leading the inquiry.