In light of a report that Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential campaign — seemingly contradicting his testimony before the Senate — Republicans are now calling for the Trump appointee to recuse himself from investigating Russia.
Even Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who has been reluctant to speak out against President Donald Trump, said Thursday morning that Sessions should recuse himself because of how he answered questions in his confirmation hearing. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has cozied himself with the new Trump administration, also suggested that Sessions should pull himself from any Russian probe.
Many Democratic leaders believe that a recusal is not enough. Rep. Eric Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said Thursday that Sessions "should probably resign." Sen. Al Franken, who asked the question in Sessions' confirmation hearing that elicited a false statement, said that "at the very minimum" the attorney general "should recuse himself."
Sen. Claire McCaskill, who represents a state that voted heavily for Trump, is calling on Sessions to resign.
"A good prosecutor would have known these facts were relevant to the questions asked," McCaskill said in a statement.
Wednesday night, shortly after the story about Sessions' meeting with the Russian ambassador broke, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Sessions should resign.
"Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country," she said in a statement.
When heading to work Thursday morning, Sessions repeated what he said during his confirmation hearing.
"I've said that whenever it's appropriate I will recuse myself, there's no doubt about that," he told NBC News.