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Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday quipped about his forced departure from the White House earlier this month, saying he has embraced getting a "pink slip" from President Donald Trump.
"I've got a new title: former. Pink slip. That's everybody — a lot of people have gotten pink slips," Session said in a speech at the Chicago Crime Commission's Stars of Distinction 2018 Awards Dinner. "But mine is a little more public than most. ... But I really enjoy the honor and appreciate the president allowing me to serve almost two years in one of the greatest jobs in the world."
Sessions resigned on Nov. 7 at Trump's request. The announcement — made by Trump on Twitter — came the day after the midterm elections.
In his speech Wednesday, Sessions said he was "satisfied and fulfilled" with what he accomplished in the administration. "And I'm excited for those who will lead continue to lead the great department," he said.
The president had repeatedly railed against Sessions — who had been one of Trump's biggest cheerleaders during the 2016 presidential campaign — particularly for recusing himself from the special counsel's Russia investigation. Trump often trashed Sessions on social media and in public appearances, castigating him as weak and saying that he "never had control" of the Department of Justice.
Trump tapped Matt Whitaker, Sessions' chief of staff, to become acting attorney general. Whitaker, a critic of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, has been the subject of much controversy.
Ethics groups have filed complaints claiming he has violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from political activity. Also, top Democrats have called for Whitaker's "immediate recusal" from overseeing the special counsel, citing past commentary critical of the investigation.