Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday recused himself from overseeing any federal investigation into charges that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Speaking at a Department of Justice press conference, the former Alabama Senator said he was following the advice of his staff.
“I have now decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaign for president of the United States,” Sessions said. “This announcement should not be interpreted as confirmation of the existence of any investigation or suggestive of the scope of any such investigation.”
“They said that since I had involvement with the campaign, I should not be involved in any campaign investigation,” he added.
On Wednesday, Sessions came under intense fire following a Washington Post report that claimed he spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign, then denied any meetings under oath during his confirmation hearing.
The White House is standing behind Sessions and his decision.