Trump sees the memo as a way to push out Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and thus eventually fire or diminish Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Rosenstein oversees Mueller because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe last year.
“There was never any hesitation,” one adviser told the Post. “The president was resolved on this. He was not going to be persuaded [otherwise]. He wanted it out.” Despite Chief of Staff John Kelly expressing that “the document was not as compelling as some of its advocates had promised Trump,” many aides in the West Wing knew that convincing Trump otherwise would be a “fruitless endeavor” because he wanted to build “a public argument against [Deputy Attorney General] Rosenstein’s handling of the case.”