jeff sessions

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from any investigations into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.

"Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign," Sessions reiterated during an afternoon news conference in response to reports that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. last year.

"I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in," Sessions said.

A handful of top Republicans are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from a federal investigation into whether Russia interfered with last year's presidential election, as top Democrats call on Sessions to resign.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions is defending his meetings with a Russian diplomat The Washington Post reports Sessions met twice with Russia's ambassador during the presidential campaign and did not disclose it.

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Here's what we know and don't know about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his meetings with Russia's ambassador.

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The Trump administration is rescinding protections for transgender students in public schools.

The move by the Justice and Education departments reverses guidance the Obama administration publicized in May 2016, which said a federal law known as Title IX protects the right of transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities.

The words were those of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But they resulted in a rarely invoked Senate rule being used to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Jeff Sessions donned a "Make America Great Again" cap and joined the campaign trail as one of Donald Trump's earliest supporters on Capitol Hill. But the proximity of the Alabama Republican to the president-elect has got some Democrats worried about how he'd preside at the Justice Department.

Where the first day of Jeff Sessions' attorney general confirmation hearing focused on what the Alabama senator's relationship would be with the president if confirmed, the second day focused on his own past.

Sessions, a former Alabama attorney general, has a reputation for being tough on crime, but civil rights advocates testified that his reputation was made on the backs of vulnerable groups. Lawmakers who have worked with him, on the other hand, said they knew a just and fair man.

"We must bend" the arc of the moral universe

This post was updated at 1:15 pm ET.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions says he's not a racist and that he's been unfairly "caricatured."

"You have a Southern name; you come from South Alabama, that sounds worse to some people," Sessions said during the first day of his confirmation hearings to be the next attorney general of the United States.

He forcefully defended his record, saying he "did not" harbor the "racial animosities" of which he's been accused, saying they are "damnably false."

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Today, the first of President-elect Trump's Cabinet choices goes before a Senate committee, and it's one of the most important jobs - attorney general of the United States.

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Critics and supporters alike of President-elect Trump have been watching his Cabinet choices to see what they say about him. Few may be more revealing than his choice for attorney general who gets a Senate hearing today.

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Several civil rights activists were arrested Tuesday night for staging a sit-in at Sen. Jeff Sessions' office in Mobile, Ala., to protest his nomination as U.S. attorney general.

The sit-in was staged by the NAACP and portions were broadcast live online. The NAACP has sharply criticized Sessions' record on civil rights, voting rights and criminal justice reform.

When Donald Trump offered Sen. Jeff Sessions the position of attorney general, the pick drew criticism from civil rights groups and immigrant advocates. In the fast-growing, multibillion-dollar marijuana industry, it is also raising fears.

President-elect Trump's selection of Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be attorney general is stirring old memories-about his first failed foray on the national political scene.

In 1986, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions, nominated by Republican President Reagan to be a a federal judge, after he acknowledged making racially insensitive remarks and calling the NAACP, the ACLU, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, and the National Council of Churches "un-American."

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