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Top Republicans urge Sessions to recuse himself after Russia revelations

In a tweet Thursday morning, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to "recuse himself" from investigations of the Trump administration's ties to Russia:

Chaffetz also urged Sessions to "clarify his testimony" in light of recent reports that Sessions twice spoke to Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the United States, during President Trump's campaign, despite testifying under oath during his Senate confirmation hearing that he "did not have communications with the Russians."

Right before Chaffetz weighed in, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also said Sessions should recuse himself to maintain "the trust of the American people." "I don't have all the information in front of me, I don't want to pre-judge, but I just think for any investigation going forward, you want to make sure everybody trusts the investigation," McCarthy said on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said Sessions should resign for "lying under oath to Congress," a call echoed by House Oversight Committee ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (Md.). "When Senator Sessions testified under oath that 'I did not have communications with the Russians,' his statement was demonstrably false, yet he let it stand for weeks," Cummings said. "Attorney General Sessions should resign immediately, and there is no longer any question that we need a truly independent commission to investigate this issue."

Sessions vowed Thursday to recuse himself "whenever it's appropriate," and insisted that he has "not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign."

Update 10:20 a.m. ET: Later Tuesday morning during an interview on Fox & Friends, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy seemingly walked back his comment that Sessions should recuse himself. "I'm not calling on him to recuse himself," McCarthy said, calling reports otherwise evidence of "how people spin things so quickly."