AG’s recusal portends continued pressure on Russia meddling

Published 9:48 am Friday, March 3, 2017

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions may not have been clear about his contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 election, but this much is: The controversy over any Kremlin involvement in American politics is not going to fade away anytime soon.

Sessions on Thursday became the second high-ranking member of the Trump administration to take a hit over conversations with Russia’s envoy to the U.S., recusing himself from any probe that examines communications between Trump aides and Moscow but facing down calls for his resignation. An early backer and key adviser for Trump’s campaign, Sessions said his staff recommended that he step aside from a probe.

“I feel I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in,” he said.

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Sessions’ action followed revelations that he twice spoke with the Russian ambassador and didn’t say so when pressed, under oath, by Congress. Though he rejected any suggestion that he tried to mislead anyone, he did allow that he should have been more careful in his testimony.

“I should have slowed down and said, ‘But I did meet one Russian official a couple of times,’” he said.