Warner 'disappointed' in how Trump replaced Sessions

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems Facebook reeling after damning NYT report On The Money: Trump, Senate leaders to huddle on border wall funding | Fed bank regulator walks tightrope on Dodd-Frank | Koch-backed groups blast incentives for corporations after Amazon deal MORE (D-Va.) said in an interview that aired Friday on "Rising" that he was disappointed in how the White House chose Matthew Whitaker to replace Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump labels Schiff ‘little Adam Schitt’ Top House Oversight Dem says he will do ‘anything and everything’ to make Mueller’s findings public Watchdog group demands release of Whitaker's financial disclosures MORE as ActingMatthew G WhitakerTrump labels Schiff ‘little Adam Schitt’ Schiff: Democrats will challenge Whitaker's appointment Schumer warns Trump to stay out of government funding negotiations MORE attorney general. 

"I think everyone knew that the president wanted to get rid of Sessions," Warner told Hill.TV's Alison Spann on Thursday. 

"I was a little surprised that he acted as quickly as he did. I'm very disappointed that he didn't go ahead and move up to the acting attorney general position the current Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinMueller could turn easy Trump answers into difficult situation Attorneys want Supreme Court to determine legality of Whitaker as acting AG Top Dems: DOJ position on Whitaker appointment 'fatally flawed' MORE, or he could have moved up the solicitor general, someone who also had received congressional approval," he continued. 

"Instead, he took this gentleman, Mr. Whitaker, who I think [is] very political, and who seems to have as his biggest asset that he's a big Trump loyalist," Warner said. "That raises a lot of questions. It raises questions about what this individual may try to do or not do in terms of either shutting down the Mueller investigation, or impeding, such as cutting back funding, cutting back on access to the FBI agents, not being willing to have Mueller be able to file further indictments that may be up." 

Warner is the top Democrat at the Senate Intelligence Committee and has helped lead the panel's probe into Russia's election meddling. 

The senator called on Whitaker to recuse himself from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe into election meddling in a tweet on Wednesday.  

Democrats have slammed Whitaker's appointment, citing his past comments criticizing the Russia probe. 

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiJohn Lewis joins Ocasio-Cortez on climate change push Dem House newcomers split on supporting Pelosi for Speaker Reelection campaign starts now, like it or not MORE (D-Calif.) said in an interview on Thursday that he should not be overseeing the investigation. 

— Julia Manchester