Trump berated Sessions in Oval Office after Mueller appointment: report

President Trump reportedly "berated" Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsIntel leaders: Collusion still open part of investigation Republicans jockey for position on immigration Biden to Alabama: No more extremist senators MORE earlier this year after learning that a special counsel had been appointed to lead the investigation into his campaign aides' ties to Russia.

In an Oval Office meeting following the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in May, Trump called Sessions an "idiot" and said he should resign, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing several current and former administration officials.

After the meeting, Sessions reportedly sent the White House a resignation letter, but Trump rejected it on the advice of aides.

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The Times said that Sessions later called the incident "the most humiliating experience in decades of public life."

Sessions, an early backer and surrogate for Trump's presidential campaign, recused himself earlier this year from any investigations into Russia's election meddling.

Mueller was appointed in May to lead the federal Russia probe after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was previously helming the investigation.

Trump publicly criticized Sessions in July, saying during an interview that he would not have chosen Sessions to serve as attorney general had he known he would recuse himself. The president has also taken aim at Sessions on Twitter.

Sessions said in July he had no plans to leave his post.

According to the Times, allies of Sessions said he chose to remain in the job because he thinks of it as a "once-in-a-lifetime" chance to crack down on illegal immigration.