Trump's attorney-general 'lied' about contacts with Russia
Top Democratic politicians on Wednesday night called for US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign after reports alleged he lied under oath about his communication with Russian officials.
The Washington Post reported that Sessions had two conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, during the election campaign.
However, Sessions, an early supporter of President Donald Trump, did not disclose those communications at his confirmation hearing in January when asked whether "anyone affiliated" with the campaign had contact with the Russians.
Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, accused Sessions of "lying under oath" and demanded that he resign.
Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, also called on Sessions to immediately resign.
“When Senator Sessions testified under oath that ‘I did not have communications with the Russians,’ his statement was demonstrably false, yet he let it stand for weeks – and he continued to let it stand even as he watched the President tell the entire nation he didn’t know anything about anyone advising his campaign talking to the Russians," Cummings said in a statement.
“Attorney General Sessions should resign immediately, and there is no longer any question that we need a truly independent commission to investigate this issue.”
|"I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false."|
In a statement Wednesday night, Sessions said, "I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false."
Revelations of the contact also triggered calls from members of Congress for Sessions to back out of any involvement in the FBI's probe into Russian interference in the presidential elections.
"If reports are accurate that Attorney General Sessions - a prominent surrogate for Donald Trump - met with Ambassador Kislyak during the campaign, and failed to disclose this fact during his confirmation, it is essential that he recuse himself from any role in the investigation of Trump campaign ties to the Russians," said Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
"This is not even a close call; it is a must," he said.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Wednesday night "there was absolutely nothing misleading about his [Sessions’] answer."
"He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign - not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee," Flores said in a statement.