Evan Vucci / AP

For weeks, President Trump has been privately expressing frustration with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and has even told aides he regretted appointing him:

  • Trump views Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation as an act of weakness that made the situation exponentially worse for the White House.
  • POTUS has even mused that he could have named Sessions — a crucial early backer of his campaign — to be Secretary of Homeland Security instead.
  • Yesterday, Trump went public with his beef, telling the N.Y. Times: "Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else."

The declaration of no-confidence led to instant speculation in Republican circles that Sessions would resign: How can he go to work this morning?

  • Swan hears that Sessions may well stay: Top Republicans are giving us both "stay" and "go" predictions. Trump once publicly scolded Steve Bannon, who's back in good stead with the boss.
  • Sessions has told friends how much he loves the job, and how much fun he's having — locking up bad guys, supporting law enforcement, cracking down on sanctuary cities, etc.
  • DJT loves all that stuff, too. So on policy, they couldn't be more in lockstep. If it wasn't for Russia, they'd be as close as ever.
  • Sources also point out that if Sessions resigned, the acting head of the Justice Department would be Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, with whom Trump has no vibe. (In the interview, Trump said of Rosenstein: "Who is he? ... He's from Baltimore ... There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any.")
  • This rift sure sounds permanent, though. And remember that Sessions offered to resign before, saying that he serves at the pleasure of the President and was willing to step aside if POTUS would feel better served. Trump declined.

What Trump is thinking: It's the president's view that Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation — which may have been unavoidable, given the pressures at the time — empowered Democratic critics.

Inexcusable, POTUS thinks. Trump would have felt safer with his man Sessions in charge, but now must endure the wholly unpredictable and uncontrollable probe by special counsel Bob Mueller.

Be smart: Trump's blast shows that no lawyer or aide has convinced him to rein in his remarks in Russia, and makes a public spectacle of the kind of internal West Wing war that in most administrations might be concealed or gossiped about, but never proven in real time.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Sports

Big Ten's conference-only move could spur a regionalized college sports season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Big Ten announced Thursday that it will move all fall sports to a conference-only schedule.

Why it matters: This will have a snowball effect on the rest of the country, and could force all Power 5 conferences to follow suit, resulting in a regionalized fall sports season.

The second jobs apocalypse

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This week, United Airlines warned 36,000 U.S. employees their jobs were at risk, Walgreens cut more than 4,000 jobs, Wells Fargo announced it was preparing thousands of terminations this year, and Levi's axed 700 jobs due to falling sales.

Why it matters: We have entered round two of the jobs apocalypse. Those announcements followed similar ones from the Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Choice hotels, which all have announced thousands of job cuts, and the bankruptcies of more major U.S. companies like 24 Hour Fitness, Brooks Brothers and Chuck E. Cheese in recent days.

Big Tech marshals a right-leaning army of allies for antitrust fight

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As tech's giants prepare to face off with antitrust enforcers this summer, they will draw support from an array of predominantly right-leaning defenders ranging from influential former government officials to well-connected think tanks.

The big picture: The Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the states have multiple investigations of monopolistic behavior underway targeting Facebook and Google, with other giants like Amazon and Apple also facing rising scrutiny. Many observers expect a lawsuit against Google to land this summer.