Robert Mueller's team is interested in President Trump's attacks last summer on Jeff Sessions—whom Trump reportedly likens to an elderly, bumbling cartoon character—and his team has been questioning people to that end, sources tell the Washington Post. Mueller is probing whether Trump tried to obstruct justice as part of the special counsel's investigation into links between Trump's campaign and Russia, and the investigation has already found that Trump pressured Sessions not to recuse himself from the Justice Department's Russia investigation in March 2017, per the New York Times. People familiar with the matter say Mueller aims to learn whether comments Trump made about Sessions in late July and early August were part of an effort to force him out and install a replacement who would intervene in the investigation.
Trump publicly described a "beleaguered" Sessions as having a "VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes" in July; the Post claims Trump privately refers to him as Mr. Magoo and complained his attorney general wasn't as loyal as he should be. One White House adviser describes Trump as "stunned" that his harsh comments didn't spur Sessions' resignation. But Sessions has dug his heels in, and apparently famously so: The paper reports aides marked the anniversary of his confirmation by gifting him a personalized bulletproof vest. Trump has continued to attack Sessions: A week ago, he appeared to blame Sessions for a lack of an investigation into Democrats' "crimes." On Wednesday, he attacked Sessions again. New York offers a history of their feud. (Read more President Trump stories.)