Jeff Sessions Slams Russia Storm: ‘A Big Brouhaha’
Attorney General Jeff Sessions slammed the controversy over his two meetings with the Russian ambassador last year as “a big brouhaha” and said Thursday he recused himself of any possible investigations involving the Trump administration in order to “clear the air.”
“It was a sad thing to be attacked like that — but I think we’ve explained it and we intend to move forward,” the former Alabama senator told Tucker Carlson on Fox News.
“Recusal is not an admission of any wrongdoing,” Sessions explained. “It’s simply that whether you can be perceived as fairly deciding a case or evaluating a case.
“I believed that I should recuse myself, because I was involved in the campaign.
“To a degree, it would have been perceived that I would not be objective in participating in an investigation that might involve the campaign.”
However, Sessions quickly added: “I do not confirm or deny any investigation.
“I just felt like that I should clear the air — and we were moving toward that end before this latest flap.”
Confirmed in January after a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions has been under fire after news reports Wednesday the Justice Department said he had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice last year when he was in the Senate.
The agency, which Sessions oversees, concluded — however — nothing improper occurred via the meetings or in the attorney general’s answers to Congress.
“I have performed exactly correctly for an attorney general of the United States,” Sessions told Carlson.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a United States senator meeting with an ambassador from Russia. It was a perfectly reasonable meeting.”
Trump defended Sessions throughout the debacle, ripping the news reports late Thursday as a “witch hunt” on Twitter.
The attorney general would not go that far, only saying “we are having a lot of leaks today in Washington that I do believe are troubling.
“A lot of it would appear to be in violation of the law. It’s an unhealthy trend, and we’ve got to do better about it.
“I don’t think that what was said about that meeting I had with the Russian ambassador was legitimate,” Sessions said. “It was hyped beyond reason — and I think it was unfair.”