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Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn't plan to take the hint. President Trump continues hitting him in all body parts — apparently hoping he'll resign, which could pave the way for firing special counsel Bob Mueller.

  • But Sessions allies tell us he won't quit, and will have to be fired: This is his life's work and dream job. (Yesterday, he took on sanctuary cities.)
  • And in Trumptown, you can be down now, but back in favor after you endure a little humiliation. Ask Steve Bannon.
  • Hard to see Sessions coming back from this, though. Trump said yesterday in a Wall Street Journal interview: "I'm very disappointed in Jeff Sessions."

At a Rose Garden press conference yesterday, Trump said: "I am disappointed in the Attorney General. He should not have recused himself [from the Russia probe] almost immediately after he took office. And if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office, and I would have, quite simply, picked somebody else. So I think that's a bad thing not for the President, but for the presidency. I think it's unfair to the presidency. And that's the way I feel."

Be smart: In this showdown, there's the potential for grave collateral damage to Trump. Many establishment/pragmatic Republicans, including lawmakers and administration officials and aides, "got there" on Trump not because they were wild about the man, but out of respect for the office (and self-interest, of course).

But one Hill alumnus told me that with his torture of Sessions, Trump seems to be demanding personal loyalty: "He's saying, 'I don't want the loyal Republican. I want the loyal Trumpite.'" That could trigger a disconnect that, in yet another echo of Nixon, would undermine the president's Washington support.

N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and a supporter of stricter immigration policies like those championed by Sessions: "If an early supporter like this is thrown under the bus, then who is safe? You can imagine what the other Cabinet secretaries are thinking."

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Go deeper

Former D.C. Guard alleges Army Generals lied about Jan. 6 response

Members of the National Guard and Capitol police keep a small group of pro-Trump demonstrators away from the Capitol following the insurrection on Jan. 6. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A former D.C. National Guard official has alleged that top Army generals "lied" to Congress in their testimony on the U.S. Capitol riot, Politico first reported Monday.

The big picture: Col. Earl Matthews, who was serving on Jan. 6, alleges in a memo that the official version on the military response is "worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist" and that the Pentagon inspector general's November report on it features "myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis."

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress hunts for shortcut to pass defense funding, debt limit combo

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to his office Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The scramble in Congress to pass the National Defense Authorization Act is being complicated by an effort to tie it to a needed hike in the federal debt limit.

Why it matters: The House and Senate are rapidly coming up against a series of deadlines they must address before the end of the year — or risk disrupting crucial military funding and upending the economy. Congressional leaders are now hoping they can knock out both "must-pass" priorities in one, complex swoop.