Trump told Sessions to reverse his decision to recuse in Russia probe: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE reportedly told Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE last year that he should reverse his decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russia's election interference.

Trump made the request of Sessions during a dinner at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in March 2017, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The meeting reportedly came shortly after Sessions announced his recusal.

The Times reported that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE is investigating the incident as part of his sprawling investigation.


Sessions last year declined to walk back his decision to recuse himself from the federal Russia investigation, spurring Trump to publicly voice displeasure with his attorney general over several months.

"Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else," Trump told the Times last year.

Sessions's recusal left Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinGraham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over GOP chairmen stake out turf in Obama-era probes McCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe MORE, the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, as the top person overseeing the Russia probe. Rosenstein later appointed Mueller to lead the investigation after Trump fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGraham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over GOP votes to give chairman authority to subpoena Obama officials GOP chairmen stake out turf in Obama-era probes MORE.

The Times previously reported that Trump ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to stop Sessions from recusing himself, and that McGahn attempted to do so.

Sessions recused himself after media reports revealed that he failed to reveal contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while he was a surrogate for Trump's campaign. 

Mueller has reportedly been looking at Trump’s attacks on his attorney general and his attempts to get him to resign. The Times noted that Sessions is a key witness into whether Trump obstructed justice in the Russia probe.

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment to the Times.

Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani told the paper that he hasn’t discussed Sessions's recusal with the president but said that Trump asking Sessions to reverse his recusal would be within the bounds of the president's authority.

“ ‘Unrecuse’ doesn’t say, ‘Bury the investigation.’ It says on the face of it: Take responsibility for it and handle it correctly,” Giuliani told the paper.

Updated at 8:24 p.m.