Trump claims Jeff Sessions not 'mentally qualified' to be AG as feud escalates

Trump claims Jeff Sessions not 'mentally qualified' to be AG as feud escalates

President Donald Trump on Sunday ramped up his ongoing feud with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions Sunday, claiming Sessions wasn’t "mentally qualified" for the job.

During an interview on "Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson," Trump called Sessions, who he handpicked for the 2017 appointment, a "disaster" who was never qualified for the role of attorney general.

"He's not mentally qualified to be Attorney General," Trump said. "He was the biggest problem. I mean, look Jeff Sessions put people in place that were a disaster."

The president’s comments come a day after he formally endorsed Sessions' opponent in the Alabama Senate race, college football coach Tommy Tuberville. Trump has long assailed the former attorney general for recusing himself from the FBI's investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election.

Sessions responded to Trump’s comments Saturday on Twitter, defending his recusal and telling the president he was "damn fortunate" for it.

Related: Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions

"It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration," Sessions tweeted. "Your personal feelings don't dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do."

Sessions and Tuberville finished neck-and-neck in March in a Republican primary, setting up for a July 14 runoff. The runoff winner will face off in November against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, who won Sessions’ former seat in a 2017 special election.

Trump’s criticism of his former appointee is just the latest in a yearslong battle with Sessions. In November 2018, Trump ousted Sessions as attorney general and replaced him temporarily with Matt Whitaker.

Trump said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" last year that Sessions would be his only "do-over" as president, claiming that the former Alabama senator should have never been in the role.