In an adaptation from the next edition of the book, "The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency", Chris Whipple writes in Vanity Fair about a dramatic showdown that almost led to the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions last May after the president berated him for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump campaign contacts with Russian Federation.
According to Whipple, only moments beforehand, Trump had targeted Sessions in a tirade in the Oval Office, calling him an "idiot" and blaming Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation investigation for the whole mess. Priebus said, according to the excerpt.
Priebus, who left the White House last summer, said Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Grassley to Sessions: "Policy for employees does not comply with the law New immigration policy leaves asylum seekers in the lurch MORE twice tried to resign, but he convinced Sessions otherwise, according to excerpts published by The Associated Press".
"What? What the hell are you talking about?"
Priebus told Whipple that Trump called him early in the morning after the inauguration to complain and vent about the Washington Post's coverage of the crowd, calling it "bullsh*t".
Priebus said that he chased after Sessions into the parking lot, where he found Sessions in a vehicle about to leave. I said, 'You can not resign.
"I knocked on the door of the vehicle and Jeff was sitting there and I just jumped in and shut the door and I said, 'Jeff, what's going on?'" Priebus said. "It's not possible. We are going to talk about this right now, '" Priebus recalled telling Sessions. "(Vice President Mike) Pence and (presidential adviser Steve) Bannon came in, and we started talking to him to the point where he decided that he would not resign right then and he would instead think about it". "Get the resignation of Jeff Sessions, '" a White House insider told Whipple.
"He told the president, 'If I get this resignation, you are in for a spiral of calamity that makes Comey look like a picnic, '" the source told Vanity Fair.