Sessions Russia Controversy Is An Impediment To New Relations

"Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities", said Sessions.

"Attorney General Sessions did the right thing by recusing himself, and he did exactly what he said he'd do regarding potential recusals when he was before our committee", Grassley said in a statement.

During his confirmation hearings, Sessions failed to disclose these meetings, though he has since claimed he answered the question in context based on whether he held discussions with Russian officials about the 2016 election.

The White House confirmed the meetings took place but insisted Sessions had done nothing inappropriate and dismissed the revelations as a partisan attack.

Flynn was dismissed last month after it emerged that he had discussed USA sanctions on Russian Federation with Kislyak before Trump's swearing-in on January 20, and then misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations. Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law and now a senior adviser, also participated in the meeting at Trump Tower with Mr. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador.

Sessions' failure to disclose the contacts anxious even some of his fellow Republicans.

Earlier Thursday, Sessions recused himself from any existing or future probes related to any campaigns for president.

When asked Thursday about his September 8 meeting with the Russian ambassador, Sessions said the two talked about "normal things", noting terrorism and Ukraine came up in conversation.

"I did not have communications with the Russians", he said under oath. While Sessions has now admitted he met twice with the Russian ambassador previous year, he said they did not have any such conversations about political campaigns.

After weeks of calling for a special prosecutor to lead the probe into Trump's Russian Federation ties, Democrats attacked the issue with newfound fervor after the Post reported that Sessions met with Kislyak. Since then, the attorney general has faced growing bipartisan demands from Congress that he recuse himself from the investigations.

Grassley said there were no plans to ask Sessions to come before the committee before his customary appearance at the panel's next annual oversight hearing.

But with United States intelligence agencies, the Department of Justice, and four Congressional committees examining the Russian Federation scandal, Democrats demanded that Sessions recuse himself from the investigations and for Congress to name an independent special investigator to oversee a broad probe.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m., McCaskill posted two tweets that acknowledged her meeting with Kislyak.

  • Leroy Wright