President Donald Trump pressured Attorney General Jeff Sessions on multiple occasions over the last 14 months to overturn his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, according to a source familiar with the President’s demands. Trump made the request on several occasions – each to no avail.
The President’s repeated attempts to pressure Sessions followed an initial request from Trump in March 2017 asking the attorney general to reverse his recusal while at Mar-a-Lago, which was first reported by The New York Times. The Times reported that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating that request.
Axios first reported that Trump pressured Sessions to reverse his recusal from the Russia probe multiple times.
Sessions, who served as a top surrogate for Trump during his presidential campaign, recused himself last year from the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Sessions made the decision after it came to light that he had failed to disclose contacts with Russia’s ambassador to Washington during his Senate confirmation hearing.
Trump has publicly criticized the attorney general over his recusal, calling it a “terrible mistake for the country” in April.
The President escalated his attacks on Sessions this week, saying in a tweet that he wishes he had not picked him to be attorney general.
Sessions was an early supporter of Trump’s campaign and the first sitting senator to endorse his candidacy for president.
Stephen Collinson contributed to this report.