Attorney General Jeff Sessions received a message of support from President Donald Trump after The New York Times published an article Thursday recounting a heated exchange between the two in May, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
The message, relayed to Sessions, indicated that the President is not concerned by such stories and believes he’s doing well as attorney general, according to the source who is familiar with the communication, but asked not to be identified. The White House did not return multiple requests for comment on Thursday’s private message to Sessions.
Earlier Thursday, the President was asked by a reporter if he had asked Sessions to resign, and the President shook his head and replied “no.”
On Sunday, CNN’s Rene Marsh asked the attorney general about his relationship with the President after he had joined Trump at Camp David for a Cabinet meeting over the weekend. Asked if “you two are good,” Sessions told CNN: “We’re having a great time and had a good time yesterday with him.”
Thursday’s message – though private – stood in sharp contrast to the President’s highly public humiliation of his attorney general earlier in the summer on Twitter and in interviews.
CNN reported in June that Trump and Sessions had a series of tense exchanges in the weeks following Sessions’ recusal from investigations related to the Trump campaign, and Sessions expressed he would be willing to resign if Trump no longer wanted him there, according to a senior administration official at the time.
Sessions later told Fox News that Trump’s critical tweets about him were “kind of hurtful,” but insisted he “made the right decision” in recusing himself from investigations related to the 2016 campaign.