Evan Vucci / AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' administration allies were hoping President Trump could, as he himself might say, see his way clear to letting it go. But that's not happening.

Trump's initial fury about Sessions' recusal from the Russia probe has turned to a simmering resentment that may have permanently poisoned their relationship, according to sources close to both of them.

"It will never be like it was," says a source close to Sessions.

This is just Trump 101, according to people who've spoken to the President about Sessions:

  • Trump keeps top-line associations for many of the people around him, and White House sources say it's important to know when you walk into a room with Trump what his top-line association is about you. For instance, Sebastian Gorka is the guy on TV who shreds "fake news" hosts, and Wilbur Ross is "a killer" who knows how to make money.
  • Trump's top-line association for Sessions: The guy who showed tremendous weakness and caused tremendous problems by needlessly recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
  • Between the lines: In Trump's mind, Sessions bowed to political pressure and gave an opening to his enemies (Democrats and the media). Trump blames Sessions, in part, for his Russia headaches.

But, but, but: This tension hasn't had any visible impact on Sessions' agenda at the Justice Department, where he has taken a sledgehammer to Obama's legacy (especially on incarceration, voting rights, and private prisons). And their less-than-warm relationship means good governance advocates will have one less line of criticism for the administration.

Also, it was never true — and it remains untrue — that Trump ever wanted to get rid of Sessions. He appreciates his value, even if it'll never quite be the same again.

Go deeper

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court denies Pennsylvania GOP request to limit mail-in voting

Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new rules on Monday to mute microphones to allow President Trump and Joe Biden two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate, AP reports.

Why it matters: In the September debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, compared with Biden's 22 interruptions of Trump.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.