Sep 14, 2017

Sessions sent Trump a resignation letter in May

Attorney General Jeff Sessions in August. Photo: Chuck Burton / AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent President Trump his resignation letter in May — which Trump later rejected — after Trump berated him during an Oval Office meeting after learning that Robert Mueller had been appointed as special counsel for the Russia investigation, per a NYT report.

  • Trump blamed Mueller's appointment on Session's decision to recuse himself from the Russia prove, telling the attorney general that he regretted appointing him and that he was an "idiot." Vice President Mike Pence, White House counsel Don McGahn, and other aides were in the room.
  • Trump decided not to accept Sessions' resignation after top aides — including Pence, Steve Bannon, and Reince Priebus — told him that it would only result in more discord both with the administration and amongst establishment Republicans.
  • Why it matters: The report is the fullest glimpse yet at Trump's distaste with Sessions, who was one of Trump's earliest congressional supporters.

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health