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

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

1 hour ago - World

Beijing draws Chinese companies even closer

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping announced last week that the party must strengthen its leadership over private companies, and that entrepreneurs must meet the party's needs. 

Why it matters: Xi's new announcement will increase fears that Chinese businesses may serve as a Trojan horse for the CCP.

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