Trump Urged Lawyer to Persuade Jeff Sessions Not to Recuse Himself in Russia Probe: Report

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Why was it so important to President Donald Trump to have Attorney General Jeff Sessions oversee the Russia investigation? It couldn’t possibly be because the president of the United States and the overlord of Russia are secretly play cousins who spend the night over each other’s house and make forts out of bedsheets in the basement of the White House and read books with flashlights, could it?

Ever since news broke of a possible scandal involving Russia and the subsequent investigation, there have been rumors that Trump wanted Sessions to stay involved. Because Sessions straight up lied during his Senate confirmation hearing, claiming that he’d never met with Russian officials, he recused himself from all Russia-related matters.


Now, according to several reports, Trump was not only pissed that Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, but he reportedly ordered his top lawyer to try to stop Sessions from doing so.

According to the New York Times, White House counsel Don McGahn, acting on orders from the president, tried but failed to persuade Sessions not to recuse himself.

NBC News reports that McGahn and several White House officials called Sessions to insist that he not recuse himself, but Sessions had already made up his mind after reports surfaced that Sessions had conveniently forgotten to disclose contacts he’d had with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

After recusing himself in March, Sessions would suddenly remember several interactions he had with Russians during Senate committee hearings in June and October.


A White House lawyer for Trump, Ty Cobb, told NBC News that he had no comment on the Times report.

This isn’t the first time that the Trump administration has been vocal about Sessions’ recusal. In fact, during a July press conference, Trump blatantly stated that he didn’t believe that Sessions should have taken himself out of the investigation.


“He should not have recused himself from the Russia investigation almost immediately after he took office, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office, and I would have quite simply picked somebody else,” Trump said. “It’s not fair to the presidency.”

One thing has been consistent since Trump took office, and that’s the fact that skullduggery, lying and Russia’s raiding of the White House fridge at ungodly hours is the new state of the nation.


It doesn’t matter what comes out of this administration; at this point, this is how I feel about every claim lobbed at the president:


Read more at the New York Times and NBC News. 

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.