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Photo: Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

White House counsel Don McGahn lobbied Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia probe at the direction of President Trump, the New York Times' Mike Schmidt reports.

  • McGahn backed off when Sessions told him that DOJ officials already advised him to recuse himself, per the Times. That led to Trump "[erupting] in anger," saying "he needed his attorney general to protect him," per the report.
  • Why it matters: This information has already crossed Robert Mueller's desk.

Other details from the report:

  • Mueller has "substantiated claims that Mr. Comey made in a series of memos describing troubling interactions" with Trump. Remember: Comey said Trump asked him for loyalty, and to back off Michael Flynn.
  • Trump reportedly called the investigation "fabricated and politically motivated" in a letter he meant to send to Comey. He was ultimately stopped from sending it by White House aides.
  • Mueller also has noted from former chief of staff Reince Priebus regarding how Trump talked to him about calling Comey "to urge him to say publicly that he was not under investigation."
  • A White House lawyer misled Trump into believing he lacked the power to fire Comey, because he thought the move would be disastrous.

Worth noting: The NYT reports that experts are "divided" on if Mueller could bring about obstruction charges against Trump, though legal experts told the Times that there is "a larger body of public evidence tying the president to a possible crime of obstruction."

Go deeper

18 mins ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.