Attorney General Jeff Sessions told reporters Tuesday that he was "pleased and honored" to be part of the Trump administration days after the president again disclosed that he was "disappointed" that Sessions had recused himself from overseeing the FBI's investigation of Russian activities during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
"He's been frustrated about my recusal and other matters," Sessions said of Trump during a Justice Department news conference. "But we have been so pleased and honored to be given the responsibility to execute his agenda at the Department of Justice ... I am pleased and honored to have that responsibility and I will do so as long as it's appropriate for me to do so."
Sessions did not respond to a follow-up question about whether Trump had privately encouraged him to resign. The president has not publicly committed to keeping Sessions as attorney general beyond next month's midterm elections.
In an interview with "60 Minutes" broadcast Sunday, Trump said he was "very disappointed" that Sessions had recused himself from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, which is being overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
"Many people think I was right on that," Trump told interviewer Lesley Stahl. "I was very disappointed. Why should he have recused himself?"
When Stahl asked if she could assume Sessions would be dismissed after the midterms, Trump answered: "No. No. You can't assume that."
Sessions held the news conference to announce 15 indictments against members of Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generation, which is accused of trafficking tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl-laced heroin into the U.S from Mexico. The announcement came the day after Sessions named the cartel one of the top five transnational criminal organizations.
Prosecutors have charged a man they say is the cartel's kingpin in three of the indictments but he remains a fugitive. The U.S. is offering $10 million for information leading to the arrest of 52-year-old Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes.
Sessions said the cartels "every day are taking advantage of our porous southern border to move and push their illegal drugs for large profits -- billions of dollars, tens of billions of dollars -- expanding suffering and death in our country."
"Every day we go without a secure border and without a wall is another day that we're more vulnerable than we need to be," said Sessions, referencing Trump's signature campaign promise.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.