It turns out that the story of Attorney General Jeff Sessions offering to resign wasn’t just leaky dirt in the spin cycle. The New York Times originally reported the story in June, citing unnamed sources “who were briefed on the discussion.”
Now that initial account has been fortified by a second report detailing an Oval Office meeting where Trump berated Sessions and asked for his resignation (both reports were filed by NYT reporter Maggie Haberman, working first with Peter Baker and then Michael S. Schmidt).
Ashen and emotional, Mr. Sessions told the president he would quit and sent a resignation letter to the White House, according to four people who were told details of the meeting. Mr. Sessions would later tell associates that the demeaning way the president addressed him was the most humiliating experience in decades of public life.
As DOJ was announcing that Mueller was becoming special counsel, Sessions wrote resignation letter. Trump ended up rejecting it. https://t.co/fiWo5hx1lH
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) September 14, 2017
Trump reportedly told Jeff Sessions to resign after Mueller’s appointment – Michelle Mark, Business Insider
Sessions later described Trump’s public tirade against him as “hurtful,” but added that he intended to remain Attorney General unless Trump “wants to make a change.” Sessions allies told the Times he wants to remain in the position because he believes he has a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to crack down on illegal immigration.
Jeff Sessions sent Trump a resignation letter in May after humiliating Oval Office meeting: Report | Kelly Cohen, Washington Examiner
According to the report, Sessions turned in a short letter of resignation, but Vice President Mike Pence, then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and then-Chief of Staff Reince Preibus urged the president to reconsider.
Trump on Thursday denied that he asked Sessions to resign when asked by press after returning to Washington from a trip to Florida.
‘Idiot’: Trump Reportedly ‘Humiliated’ Sessions in Oval Office Tirade and Demanded Resignation | Aidan McLaughlin, Mediaite
“Mr. Trump told Mr. Sessions that choosing him to be attorney general was one of the worst decisions he had made, called him an ‘idiot,’ and said that he should resign,” after being informed of his recusal.
The president reportedly rejected Sessions’ letter of resignation “after senior members of his administration argued that dismissing the attorney general would only create more problems.”
— Edward G Robinson (@Post_Truth_Era) September 14, 2017
Sessions resigning has never worried me as much as a wounded, groveling Sessions staying and bending to Trump's wishes does.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) September 14, 2017
Jefferson Beauregard Stonewall Jackson E. Lee Sessions the third out here crying like a girl because Trump called him an idiot pic.twitter.com/i1jEeuo115
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) September 14, 2017
Sessions should resign.
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) September 14, 2017
This story begs a response from the attorney general. It’s one thing to be publicly called “beleaguered” on Twitter. It’s quite another for a man with Sessions’ resume to be called an “idiot” in the Oval Office and treated like a petulant child by a the petulant man-child behind the Resolute desk. How any senior administration official could continue to effectively work with this information now becoming public is very suspect. Either Trump himself needs to refute this (and thereby force the NYT to stand by it or reveal sources), or Sessions has to respond in some way. His own self-respect, and the respect of the nation to the highest law enforcement officer in the federal government, depends on this.