President Trump said Thursday that he has “total” confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has come under fire for not disclosing his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States during his Senate confirmation hearing.
Speaking aboard the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford in Newport News, Va., Trump told reporters that he was not aware of Sessions's contact with the Russian ambassador. He also said that Sessions “probably” testified truthfully before Congress.
Asked whether Sessions should recuse himself from ongoing investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump replied, “I don't think so.”
Several top Republican lawmakers have said that Sessions should recuse himself from the election inquiry as well as investigations of contact between Trump campaign officials and associates and Russian officials during the campaign.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Sessions met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016. When asked during his confirmation hearing about what he would do as Attorney General if there were contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian officials, Sessions answered by saying that he had not had contact with Russian officials during the campaign.
The meetings occurred during the height of concerns about Russian interference in the U.S. election and during a time when Sessions was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and also a top Trump surrogate and adviser.
This post has been updated.