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GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Walks Back Call for Sessions Recusal

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday morning that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from the Department of Justice’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, but then walked the suggestion back shortly afterward. Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the GOP leader said that “for any investigation going forward” to be trusted by the American people, “it would be easier” if Sessions recuse himself. But later on Fox & Friends, McCarthy said he wasn’t actually calling on Sessions to recuse himself, saying “it’s amazing how people spin things so quickly.” The comments come the morning after multiple reports indicated the newly confirmed AG spoke twice with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the 2016 presidential campaign—a fact he did not disclose during his own Senate confirmation hearing. Of those meetings, McCarthy said, “I just think [Sessions] needs to clarify what these meetings were” in order to end the controversy. Early Thursday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, tweeted that “AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself.” Additionally, Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador reportedly said Sessions should recuse himself from the probe, but added he shouldn’t resign and did not perjure himself.