President Trump treated his own attorney general as harshly as any failed Apprentice contestant in a heated Oval Office meeting earlier this year, White House insiders say. The New York Times, citing multiple anonymous sources, reports that Trump, angered by the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the Russia investigation, called Sessions an "idiot" and told him he should resign. During the May 17 meeting, Trump blamed Sessions for Mueller's appointment and accused him of disloyalty because he had recused himself from the investigation, the insiders say.
Sessions—who told associates the episode had been the most humiliating moment of his life—submitted a resignation letter, but Trump rejected it after being advised that yet another high-level departure would make matters worse, the Times' sources say. Since May, Trump has publicly berated Sessions on multiple occasions, CNN notes. In July, he said he felt he had been treated "extremely unfairly" and regretted choosing Sessions as attorney general. Earlier this month, the announcement of the phasing out of DACA was seen as a major victory for Sessions, who described the program as an "executive amnesty," but his position was soon contradicted by Trump's softer stance on Dreamers. (Read more Jeff Sessions stories.)