Attorney General Jeff Sessions faces calls to resign Thursday following a Washington Post report that he failed to disclose two conversations he held with Russia's ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, during the election campaign.
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Sessions confirmed that the meeting took place, but said: “I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”
Democrats called for his resignation. If he were to step down he would be the second Trump official to lose their job over contacts with Russia, after Michael Flynn stepped down as national security adviser.
"Now, after lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign," U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
"Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign."
According to the report in the Washington Post, one of the two meetings between Sessions and Kislyak was a private conversation held in September, during what the paper described as the "height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race."
During his confirmation, Sessions was asked what he would do if he learned that someone in the campaign had been in contact with the Russian government. “I’m not aware of any of those activities,” Sessions responded, adding: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that Russia tried to help Trump win the White House by discrediting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her party through cyberattacks. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, expelled Russian diplomats in retaliation in December.
Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's choice for national security adviser, quit only three weeks in the job amid revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with Moscow's ambassador to the United States before Trump took office, in a potentially illegal action, and had later misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.
Trump has denied any of his associates had contacts with Moscow before last year's election and dismissed the controversy as a "scam" perpetrated by a hostile news media.
Moscow has denied the accusations.