To Trump's great anger, on March 2, 2017 Sessions recused himself from involvement in and oversight of the nascent Russia collusion investigation because of his own Russian contacts during the 2016 campaign.
And he said the attorney general could kill the investigation by starving it of funding.
On Friday, Trump moved to distance himself from Whitaker, saying, "I don't know Matt Whitaker".
Trump suggested on Friday that he was not surprised that Whitaker's appointment would draw criticism from the Democrats.
"I study political science at the university, and one of the things that motivates me as a political scientist is the fact that I see the norms of our democracy disappearing as Trump continues doing what he does", Tabani said. Lamar Alexander and Jeff Flake, and Sen. -elect Mitt Romney all spoke Wednesday about the importance of allowing an investigation to go forward. Sen.
With the midterms over, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is believed to be preparing fresh indictments against Trump campaign figures, possibly including his son Donald Trump Jr. and a former campaign consultant Roger Stone, and could press for the president himself to answer questions. Kelly would often call Whitaker to convey when Trump was unhappy with something at the Justice Department or with Sessions in particular, and another source said Kelly and Whitaker were "cut from the same cloth".
Sessions said in a letter to Trump that he had resigned at the president's request.
The Senate's top Republican predicted a permanent replacement could be named soon for Mr Whitaker, who is now overseeing the Trump-Russia probe. He appears not only to be stunningly unqualified to serve as the nation's chief law enforcement officer but also to have radical - and deeply troubling - views about the role of the federal courts in our constitutional system. "After the firing of [Attorney General Jeff Sessions], it is more important than ever to protect the special counsel".
A group of about 100 protesters pass the Glenview Public Library on the way to the Downtown Glenview Metra station carrying signs calling for Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation to be protected.
Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, expected to chair the House Judiciary Committee starting in January, said in a statement that the forcing out of Sessions fit a pattern of Trump interfering in the work of the Justice Department and Mueller.
But President Trump emphasised again that he did not know Mr Whitaker.
Some legal analysts say that choice may be illegal because unlike Rosenstein, Whitaker had not been confirmed for his job by the Senate.
They added, "By all appearances, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has ably supervised the Special Counsel's investigation from its outset".
Whitaker also worked to forge a relationship with the President's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner during trips to the White House, understanding they were key to moving up in Trump's eyes. He also said "the left is trying to sow this theory" that the Russians interfered with the 2016 election. According to Comey's testimony before congress, Comey said Donald Trump asked him to drop an FBI investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.