Attorney General Jeff Sessions Recuses Himself From Russia Investigation

President Donald Trump is standing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

New reports show Sessions failed to disclose he had two meetings with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. in the last year.

Sessions did not disclose those meetings during his confirmation hearings.

He spoke publicly about it Thursday afternoon. Sessions says he will not step down, but he will recuse himself from the investigation.

“Let me be clear, I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign. And the idea that I was part of a quote ‘continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government’ is totally false,” said Sessions.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the attorney general does not need to withdraw himself.

“Should he recuse himself? If he, himself, is the subject of an investigation, of course he would. But if he’s not, I don’t see any purpose or reason to doing this,” said Speaker Ryan. “I think part of what is happening, I think Democrats are letting their hair on fire to get you to cover this story, and it kind of keeps repeating the same story.”

Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, is calling for Sessions to step down.

“The fact that the attorney general, the top cop in our country, lied under oath to the American people is grounds for him to resign — is grounds for him to resign,” said Pelosi.

Republican Congressman John Moolenaar, from Michigan’s 4th District issued this statement on Thursday:

“The attorney general should have disclosed his contact with Russian officials at his nomination hearing, even though the contact came as part of his work on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He should clarify the comment he made during his hearing and he should recuse himself from oversight of the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election. The FBI has so far led a tremendous investigation and it should continue independently of the attorney general.”

Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow posted on her Facebook page saying simply:

"Attorney General Sessions misled Congress under oath about his contact with Russia, a country that threatens our nation’s security. He should resign."

Northern Michigan’s News Leader will continue to keep you updated on this still unfolding investigation online and on air.