The Russia story isn’t going away for the administration of President Donald Trump. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was under intense scrutiny Thursday amid reports that he may have misrepresented during his confirmation hearing whether he talked with Russian officials about the election during Trump's presidential campaign, which could mean the former Alabama senator committed perjury.
Some Democrats have called for Sessions' resignation while folks across the political spectrum are suggesting he should recuse himself from an investigation into Trump's potential Russia ties. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Republican, weighed in Thursday, noting that Sessions should recuse himself if he's subject to investigation.
"Should he recuse himself? I think he answered that question this morning, which is, if he himself is the subject of an investigation, of course he would. But if he's not, I don't see any purpose or reason to doing this," Ryan said.
Sessions said would recuse himself if necessary but denied any wrongdoing.
"I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign," Sessions said in a statement. "I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false."
But Sessions is not alone in the allegations connected to Russia. This week MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported on potential connections between Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and a lucrative Trump deal in Russia. Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, meanwhile, resigned after it was revealed that he did no disclose the full contents of a discussion he had with a Russia ambassador. Flynn told Vice President Mike Pence that he did discuss U.S. sanctions against the country even though he did.
The Kremlin was pleased with many of Trump's cabinet choices, including the notable selection of former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson — who was awarded Russia's Order of Friendship by President Vladimir Putin — as secretary of state.
This all, of course, follows the intelligence community assessing that Russia carried out hacks of the Democratic National Committee in order to help Trump get elected. It has also been reported that the Trump campaign was in regular contact with Russian officials throughout the election.