Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday he would recuse himself from overseeing the federal investigation into alleged Russian interference in the presidential election, citing the advice of his staff.
“I believe those recommendations are right and just,” he said. “Therefore I have recused myself from matters with the Trump campaign.”
The move comes less than 24 hours after The Washington Post revealed Sessions had spoken with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, on two separate occasions during the campaign. That appeared to contradict assertions made by Sessions to the Senate Judiciary Committee twice during the confirmation process.
First, in a questionnaire sent by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, Sessions responded “no” when asked if he had “been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election.” Then, while testifying under oath before the committee in January, Minnesota Senator Al Franken asked Sessions about reports that some top Trump officials had been in contact with the Russian government.
“Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities,” Sessions responded. “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn't have––did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”