President Trump has made clear that he thinks Attorney General Jeff Sessions should not have recused himself from the Russia investigation. Now the New York Times and the AP are reporting that Trump did more than respond angrily after the fact—he dispatched his attorney to try to persuade Sessions not to make the move before the attorney general announced it publicly in March. However, attorney Don McGahn couldn't get Sessions to change his mind, much to the president's displeasure. Special counsel Robert Mueller has learned of the meeting as part of his investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice by trying to derail the FBI's Russia inquiry, most notably by firing FBI chief James Comey.
The Times reports that Trump felt betrayed by Sessions because he wanted his attorney general to protect him the way he believed Robert Kennedy protected JFK and Eric Holder protected President Obama. "Where's my Roy Cohn?" he said in front of multiple White House officials, referring to the man the Times describes as Trump's "former personal lawyer and fixer" who once served as Sen. Joseph McCarthy's top aide during the senator's infamous hunt for communists in the 1950s. Cohn died in 1986. Mueller also has handwritten notes from former chief of staff Reince Priebus in which Priebus recalls how Trump told him he had pressed Comey to declare publicly that Trump himself was not under investigation. (Read more President Trump stories.)