As President Donald Trump escalated his public attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week, the two have not spoken, but Sessions has signaled to the White House through aides that he will not step down, according to reports in Politico and the Washington Post.
Sessions’ chief of staff told White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that the attorney general would not resign as Trump and Sessions avoid talking to each other, the Washington Post reported. Per the Post:
In a recent conversation, Sessions’s chief of staff, Jody Hunt, told White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that the attorney general had no intention of stepping down. Hunt, according to people familiar with the conversation, made it clear to Priebus that Sessions “plans to move forward with his agenda in the department and he has no plans for resigning,’’ according to one person familiar with the exchange. Priebus, for his part, did not say Trump planned to fire Sessions if he did not leave, these people said.
While Trump refuses to speak with Sessions and instead hints at letting him go in public remarks, White House aides have been urging Trump to end his attack on his own attorney general, per Politico and CNN. Steve Bannon in particular has pleaded with Trump to stop going after Sessions, Politico and CNN reported.
After publishing tweets earlier in the week calling Sessions “beleaguered” and “weak,” Trump on Tuesday said he was “disappointed” in the attorney general and was looking into letting Sessions go. He has reportedly talked with staff about potential replacements for Sessions, and White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said that Trump “probably” wants Sessions gone.