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Johnson: Sessions ‘had no choice’ on recusal

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Thursday defended Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHarris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House The Memo: Team Trump looks to Pence to steady ship in VP debate MORE's decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Johnson was asked during an interview on CNN's "New Day" about President Trump's comments that he would not have chosen Sessions as his attorney general if he knew Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia probe.

"He recused himself because he was involved in the campaign. At least, he said that's why he was recusing himself," Johnson said.

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Johnson said the decision to recuse himself was "not because of his Senate testimony about contacts with Russian government officials."

"Basically, Jeff Sessions had no choice," Johnson added. "Being involved in the campaign, there are aspects of the campaign that are under investigation, and so he had to recuse himself."

Trump knew going in that he was choosing someone to serve as his attorney general who had been involved in his campaign, Johnson said.

Trump expressed frustration during an interview with The New York Times that Sessions had recused himself from the investigation into the Russian election meddling.

Trump said it was "very unfair to the president" that Sessions would recuse himself.

"Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else," Trump said.