Mike Pence breaks from Donald Trump: ‘I hold Jeff Sessions in the highest regard’

Indiana Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence praised Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday, breaking away from President Donald Trump who has criticized the attorney general on multiple occasions.

When asked by CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins if he had confidence in Sessions, he replied “I hold Jeff Sessions in the highest regard. I appreciate his service to the nation.”

Pence’s defense of Sessions follows that of other GOP lawmakers, including Alabama’s own U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby who earlier this week said, “I think Sessions is a very smart man and a man of integrity. I would disagree with the president on that.”

Trump has come under fire in recent days as news surfaced Tuesday about the details of a new book on the Trump White House to be released Sept 11 by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bob Woodward, of the Washington Post, that claims Trump has called Sessions “mentally retarded” and said, “He’s this dumb Southerner.”

Tuesday evening, the president denied that account saying Woodward “made this up to divide!”

By Wednesday morning,Trump accused Woodward of forming a “picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact.”

“Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?,” Trump tweeted.

Nevertheless the rift between Sessions and Trump appears to continue to widen.