President Donald Trump is reportedly asking political associates to game out the political blowback for firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions — but the advice he’s getting could trigger a constitutional crisis.
According to Axios, “President Trump, in one of his hallmark rituals, recently called a longtime political associate and asked out of the blue: ‘What would happen if I fired Sessions?'”
The political associate told the website that he urged Trump to hold his fire and possibly take aim at special counsel Robert Mueller.
“If you’re going to fire people at Justice, don’t you want to save that bullet for Mueller?” that associate told Axios he advised the president.
The president has been publicly attacking Sessions since expressing anger over his longtime loyalist’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe, and he has issued a loyalty test to the attorney general with a demand to investigate Hillary Clinton.
Axios reported Monday that Trump was considering Rudy Giuliani as a possible replacement for Sessions, but the former New York City mayor insisted he wasn’t interested in the job.
Trump warned Mueller, who’s leading the Justice Department probe of his campaign ties to Russia, not to examine his family’s financial dealings and is reportedly angry the special counsel wants to look at his tax returns.
Sessions cannot fire Mueller after recusing himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein has said there’s no reason to remove the special counsel.
Few Republicans have warned Trump in no uncertain terms against firing the special counsel, although some have expressed concern at the possibility.