President Donald Trump was outraged Friday over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, according to media reports.
Trump hauled his key advisers into the Oval Office on Friday afternoon before he departed for Palm Beach, Florida, and went "ballistic" over Sessions' recusal, ABC News reported, citing senior White House sources.
Sessions held a press conference the previous day to announce his recusal, acquiescing to growing, bipartisan calls to do so following revelations that he had not disclosed during his confirmation process that he had met with the Russian ambassador twice last year during Trump's election campaign.
Sessions said he had not met with Russian operatives to discuss Trump’s campaign, and said he could not remember much of what he had discussed with the ambassador.
Trump was "fuming" about the news on Friday, telling his aides Sessions shouldn't have recused himself, the Washington Post's Robert Costa tweeted Saturday.
Trump left WH in a fury on Friday, fuming about Sessions's recusal and telling aides that Sessions shouldn't have recused himself...— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 4, 2017
President remarked to staff that Sessions/WH/DOJ should have done more to counter Sessions story, that it was "bull," per aides familiar— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 4, 2017
A source close to Trump told me Friday, re POTUS mindset before Florida flight, “He’s in a very [expletive] bad mood today. He is a bear."— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) March 4, 2017
Trump questioned the logic of Sessions' recusal, and emphasized to his advisers that the entire situation had been handled poorly, Politico reported.
Trump has previously said he has "total" confidence in Sessions and saw no need for him to resign or recuse himself.
The advisers present in the meeting on Friday reportedly included chief strategist Stephen Bannon, chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer, White House counsel Don McGahn, communications director Mike Dubke, as well as senior adviser Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
After the meeting, Bannon and Priebus offered to stay behind in Washington, rather than accompanying Trump to Florida as planned, according to ABC News. Trump reportedly agreed they should remain behind, and their names were removed from the passenger manifest.
Jeremy Berke contributed to this report.
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