Speed Reads

under pressure

Report: Trump pressured Sessions multiple times to overturn his recusal

On several occasions last year, President Trump pressured Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his recusal from the Russia investigation, multiple people familiar with the conversations told Axios.

The New York Times reported earlier this week on one discussion that took place in Florida last March, just days after Sessions announced his recusal. That incident is reportedly being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Axios says there were at least four such incidents — three in person and one over the phone — and Trump's constant pressure made officials uncomfortable because they saw it as improper and worried it could put Trump in legal jeopardy.

Two people told Axios that during one conversation, Trump told Sessions that if he did the "right thing" and took back control of the Russia investigation, he'd be a "hero" to conservatives, and another time, he said he'd be a hero if he investigated Hillary Clinton. Axios' Jonathan Swan was also told by two people that Trump did not come right out and order Sessions to walk back his recusal, but asked if he'd "thought about" it.