The new acting attorney general, Whitaker will assume the duties and responsibilities fulfilled by Sessions.
Never in modern history has a president attacked a Cabinet member as frequently and harshly in public as Trump did Sessions, 71, who had been one of the first members of Congress to back his presidential campaign in 2015. He has been interviewed as part of Mueller's probe. They include his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Into Sessions's office has stepped Matthew Whitaker, who before becoming the attorney general's chief of staff was a political commentator on news programs, heard criticizing Mueller's probe, calling it a risky overreach. Dick Durbin, noting that the move against Sessions happened one day after the midterm elections.
Before Trump gave a news conference on Wednesday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Sessions and told him that Trump wanted him out, the official said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who months ago warned Trump against firing Sessions, met with the President Thursday and said he had "confidence" Whitaker would do a professional job 'in this position'.
He called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe because of previous comments about the investigation, echoing calls from other top Democrats. The former attorney general submitted a letter of resignation at the president's "request".
The departure of Mr Sessions, who was the first USA senator to back Mr Trump's presidential run in 2016, was long expected, and came one day after Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives but boosted their Senate majority.
Justice Department officials said that under normal circumstances, the deputy attorney general would likely play an active, hands-on role in overseeing such a high profile probe, and they had no reason to believe that Rosenstein would now be cut out.
"It is impossible to read Attorney General Sessions' firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by @realDonaldTrump to undermine and end Special Counsel Mueller's investigation", Ms Pelosi - a front-runner to become speaker of the House of Representatives following this week's mid-terms - tweeted. Nadler and other Democrats on the committee suggested the shakeup appears to be an effort to alter oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe in a way that favors the president.
According to legal analysts cited by The Guardian, Trump's decision may set off a constitutional crisis over the fate of the Mueller inquiry, which followed a conclusion by United States intelligence agencies that Russian Federation intervened to help Trump win in 2016.
"We're protesting Trump installing a hack to obstruct Mueller's investigation".
The president can not directly fire the special counsel.
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