Sessions To Tucker Carlson: Recusal Is Not An Admission Of Any Wrongdoing

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions talks to FNC's Tucker Carlson about his decision to recuse himself from any Justice Department investigations into the 2016 election, because he was an active campaigner for Donald Trump. Sessions faces questions from the media about his unreported meetings with the Russian ambassador. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer suggested Sessions resign.

"The question that came to me from Senator Franken [D-Minn.]," Sessions said, "he went into great length saying that that day a new story had come out and said that various Trump surrogates were meeting continually with Russian officials as part of the campaign. And he raised that question with me, and my answer went straight to that. It was the first time I had heard that, so I focused on that I had not had any such meetings, was not meeting with any Russian officials, on a continuing basis to advance any campaign agenda."

TUCKER CARLSON: I understand all that, and I take you at your word, that you meant that you had not contacted, or had any contact with the Russian government or its representatives in your capacity as an advisor to the Trump campaign. My point though, again, is that a little over two weeks later, the national security advisor has to resign because of conversations that he had also in his capacity as a non-surrogate for the campaign, with they very same ambassador, so did anyone on your staff say to you, ‘holy smokes perhaps we should clarify this because you\ could see how it could be a problem.

JEFF SESSIONS: No, I never gave that a thought. Never considered it. I don’t believe anyone ever mentioned it to me. Quite different circumstances to me, Tucker, unrelated. I had a meeting in my office with two senior staffers, both retired military people, non-political, and we had a meeting with some 25 ambassadors in recent months, while I was Senator, and the Russian ambassador was just one of them...

Recusal is not an admission of any wrongdoing,” Sessions explained. “It’s simply that whether or not you can be perceived as fairly deciding a case or evaluating a case. And so I committed to doing that after I became attorney general, and I’ve only been there three weeks. We met with professional staff, ethics people, to discuss this issue and we had a full meeting a week or so again. We planned to have a meeting today, it was on our schedule to make a final decision about whether or not I should recuse myself. And the reason I believe that I should recuse myself is because I was involved in the campaign to a degree I think it would have been perceived is that I wouldn’t be objective in participating in an investigation that might involve the campaign...

I do not confirm or deny any investigation. I just felt like I should clear the air and we were moving towards that end even before this latest flap.

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