President Donald Trump has “grown sour” on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a bombshell new report on the relationship between the two.
Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman report in the New York Times that White House insiders are talking about the complicated optics of firing Attorney General Sessions.
“Mr. Trump is said to be aware that firing people now, on the heels of dismissing James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, would be risky,” The Times reports. “He has invested care and meticulous attention to the next choice of an F.B.I. director in part because he will not have the option of firing another one. The same goes for Mr. Sessions, these people said.”
The Times reported that President Trump’s “discontent” is even harsher behind the scenes.
“In private, the president’s exasperation has been even sharper. He has intermittently fumed for months over Mr. Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election, according to people close to Mr. Trump who insisted on anonymity to describe internal conversations,” The Times reported. “In Mr. Trump’s view, they said, it was that recusal that led eventually to the appointment of a special counsel who took over the investigation.”
If Attorney General Sessions is fired, it will likely be all about Russia.
“The frustration over the travel ban might be a momentary episode were it not for the deeper resentment Mr. Trump feels toward Mr. Sessions, according to people close to the president. When Mr. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, Mr. Trump learned about it only when he was in the middle of another event, and he publicly questioned the decision,” The Times explained. “A senior administration official said Mr. Trump has not stopped burning about the decision, in occasional spurts, toward Mr. Sessions.”
The investigation of potential Trump campaign collusion with the Kremlin has gotten under the President’s skin.
“In fact, much of the past two months of discomfort and self-inflicted pain for Mr. Trump can be tied in some way back to that recusal,” suggested The Times. “Mr. Trump felt blindsided by Mr. Sessions’s decision and unleashed his fury at aides in the Oval Office the next day, according to four people familiar with the event.”