Following the revelation that Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador twice last year and failed to disclose it during his confirmation hearing to become attorney general, Sessions has said he will recuse himself from any investigation having to do with alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, Politico reports. According to the New York Times, Sessions says he met with Sergey Kislyak around the same time Russia is suspected of hacking the Clinton campaign. He says he doesn't recall if they spoke about Trump or the election. Sessions denies any wrongdoing, saying he met with Kislyak in his role as a senator, not as an aide to the Trump campaign, Reuters reports.
Sessions' recusal means he won't be able to play a part in the Justice Department's decision to take the case if the FBI brings Russia-related charges against the Trump administration. His announcement came shortly after President Trump made his first public comments on the situation; per the Los Angeles TImes, Trump said he has "total confidence" in Sessions, who "probably did" answer honestly during his confirmation hearing. But Trump says he "wasn't aware" of the meetings between Sessions and Kislyak. Trump also said he did not believe Sessions should recuse himself. Kislyak is the same person former national security adviser Michael Flynn met with, eventually leading to his resignation after lying to Vice President Pence about it. (Read more Jeff Sessions stories.)