Donald Trump Mocks Jeff Sessions's Southern Accent in CPAC Speech: 'I'm Gonna Recuse Myself'

Speaking to supporters at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland Saturday, President Donald Trump mocked his former attorney general from Alabama for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, inflecting a southern dialect to mimic the voice of Jeff Sessions.

"The attorney general says: 'I'm gonna recuse myself,'" Trump said in a southern accent. As attorney general, Sessions repeatedly faced public criticism from the president for recusing himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference. "Why the hell did he not tell me before?"

The mocking seems to corroborate reporting from Washington Post journalist and author Bob Woodward, who wrote in his book Fear: Trump in the White House that Trump privately bashed his then-attorney general as "mentally retarded" and a "dumb Southerner."

Trump denied the claims, tweeting that "being a southerner is a GREAT thing."

Sessions's ousting, who resigned in November at the "request" of the president, allowed Trump to temporarily appoint Sessions's Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker, an outspoken critic of the Russia probe. William Barr has since been confirmed as the new attorney general, who will be tasked with deciding which parts—if any—of Mueller's final report will be provided to Congress.

During the confirmation process, and to the disapproval of both Democratic and Republican senators, Barr wavered when asked about producing the report's findings to Congress. He suggested, consistent with Department of Justice guidance and regulations, it would be confidential and be summarized in a separate report by Barr. But he did promise to protect Mueller and his investigation from any potential Trump interference.

"I would resign rather than follow an order to terminate the special counsel without good cause," Barr said.

In his CPAC address, the president took aim at congressional Democrats, who continue to flex their newfound investigative power in the House, in addition to saying Mueller and a member of his team has "perhaps the worst reputation of any human being I have ever seen." He suggested the lawmakers investigating him were "sick," and called House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, one of the top Democrats taking the lead on investigating Russia-related matters and other alleged wrongdoing by the president, "Little Shifty Schiff."

"Unfortunately, you put the wrong people in a couple of positions, and they leave people for a long time that should not be there," Trump said. "All of a sudden, they are trying to take you out with bullshit. With bullshit."

Trump, mocks, Jeff Sessions, accent
President Donald Trump speaks alongside US Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Sessions was sworn in as Attorney General in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, February 9, 2017. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump Mocks Jeff Sessions's Southern Accent in CPAC Speech: 'I'm Gonna Recuse Myself' | U.S.