Justice Dept: Sessions spoke with Russian ambassador in 2016

Posted at 10:44 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 22:44:26-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the presidential campaign, The Washington Post reported Wednesday night.

The Justice Department said Wednesday that the two conversations took place last year when Sessions was a senator, although he denied during his January confirmation hearing that any such contact had taken place. 

One was an office visit that occurred in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The department says the other occurred in a group setting with other ambassadors following a Heritage Foundation speech.

Revelations of the contact, first reported by The Washington Post, were likely to fuel calls for him to step aside from an ongoing FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The White House did not immediately comment. The Post reported that a Sessions spokesperson said the Attorney General had not mentioned the meetings because he did not find them relevant.

"There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer," Sarah Isgur Flores, Sessions’s spokeswoman, told the paper.