President Donald Trump came out strongly in support of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday, releasing a statement saying Sessions did not make any misleading statements under oath during his confirmation hearings, but that he could have been more accurate in his responses to lawmakers.
Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional, Trump said. This whole narrative is a way of saving face for Democrats losing an election that everyone thought they were supposed to win. The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election and now, they have lost their grip on reality. The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total witch hunt!
Earlier Thursday, Sessions bowed to intense political pressure and recused himself from any investigation related to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
Later Thursday night, on Fox News, Sessions said he plans to submit a supplement to the record of his congressional testimony, detailing the meetings he didn't mention at the time.
My response went to the question indicated about the continuing surrogate relationship that I firmly denied and correctly denied, and I did not mention in that time that I had met with the ambassador, Sessions told host Tucker Carlson. So I will definitely make that a part of the record as I think is appropriate.
Sessions explained that he plans to recuse himself from any investigations into the campaign, but he would take decisions on investigations into Russian hacking on a case-by-case basis.
Sessions said the decision to recuse himself followed his promise to the Senate Judiciary Committee to avoid any semblance of a conflict of interest between his new role and previous position as a strong supporter of the Trump campaign. It was also the result of consultations with career Justice Department officials, he said.
The attorney general's news conference was the culmination of a day of steadily rising political pressure over the issue. Democrats demanded he resign and accused him of lying to Congress. Many Republicans, feeling the political heat and growing increasingly concerned that the Russian drama was about to spin out of control, had been forced to call for Sessions to offload ultimate responsibility for an FBI probe into links between Trump's campaign and Russia.