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.

Go deeper

The downsides of remote work

Data: Reproduced from Prudential/Morning Consult "Pulse of the American Worker Survey"; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a large-scale experiment in working from home. It has gone well enough that many companies are expanding their remote work expectations for the foreseeable future, and remote employees want to continue to work that way.

Yes, but: The downsides of remote work — less casual interaction with colleagues, an over-reliance on Zoom, lack of in-person collaboration and longer hours — could over time diminish the short-term gains.

Hong Kong's economic future hangs in the balance

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Beijing forces a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong, the once semi-autonomous city's status as one of Asia's largest financial hubs is at risk.

Why it matters: Political freedoms and strong rule of law helped make Hong Kong a thriving center for international banking and finance. But China's leaders may be betting that top firms in Hong Kong will trade some political freedoms for the economic prosperity Beijing can offer.

Why space is good politics for Trump

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's exuberance around today's scheduled SpaceX launch — including his decision to travel to Florida to watch — goes beyond a personal fascination with astronauts, rockets, and how to make money and wield power in the next frontier.

The bottom line: There's a presidential election in November, and the U.S. space program enjoys wide support across party lines. It's good politics for Trump, at least for now.