Mar 4, 2017

Trump reportedly furious over Sessions recusal

Evan Vucci / AP

The Washington Post's Bob Costa reports this morning that President Trump left the White House "in a fury" on Friday, "fuming about [Jeff] Sessions's recusal and telling aides that [the Attorney General] shouldn't have recused himself" on a story he thought was "bull."

Why this matters: To understand Trump's psychology you need to grasp that the worst sin in Trumpland is to back down. The staff who've been with Trump the longest have internalized that fact. Their first instincts in any controversy are to deny and attack. Aides who don't get Trump enrage him by being too willing to back down. In Trump's mind, an inch of retreat — even if the facts seemingly demand an apology — is unforgivable.

Behind-the-scenes: Late Thursday afternoon, at the peak of the Sessions' media storm, Trump's top communications staff, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer, huddled in the White House office of Sarah Sanders. Several hours later Trump issued his statement about Sessions' recusal. Mostly, it's Trump giving a full-throated defense of his friend. The only bit that doesn't sound like Trump is when he says of Sessions: "He could have stated his response more accurately..."

Don't expect too many lines like that in the future.

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