White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Thursday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was “100 percent straight” with a Senate committee during his confirmation hearing in January.
“He was 100 percent straight with the committee, and I think that people who are choosing to play partisan politics with this should be ashamed of themselves,” Spicer said in a preview of an interview on “Fox and Friends.”
Sessions denied during his confirmation hearing in January that he had “communications with Russians.” On Thursday, however, Sessions’ spokeswoman confirmed that Sessions met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice before the election.
Spicer also said there is no reason for Sessions to recuse himself from an investigation into any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“There’s nothing to recuse himself,” Spicer said.
“The message that Sessions should not recuse himself from the investigation, according to Spicer, comes straight from President Trump,” Fox correspondent John Roberts added.
Sen. James Risch (R-ID) said Thursday that he has no concerns “at all” that Sessions could have misled or lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his hearing.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) also said there was no evidence that Sessions lied under oath.
“We really don’t know what the facts are,” he said.
Two top House Republicans nevertheless indicated on Thursday that Sessions should consider recusing himself from the probe in the wake of the revelation about his contact with Kislyak.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said it would be “easier” for Sessions to recuse himself, and House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) wrote in a tweet that Sessions “should clarify his testimony and recuse himself.”