Sessions says he doesn't regret recusing himself from Russia probe

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill’s 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify | Kavanaugh denies allegations, says he’s willing to testify | 50 days from the midterms Ken Starr backs Mueller, says president 'must be held accountable' The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE said Thursday that he does not regret his decision to recuse himself from the federal investigation into Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, despite fierce criticism from President Trump.

The president has hurled a series of public attacks against Sessions over the past week, particularly over his recusal earlier this year, which Trump has called "very unfair to the president."

"I understand [Trump's] feelings about it, because this has been a big distraction for him," Sessions told Fox News's Tucker Carlson in an interview.

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"But, Tucker, I thought the experts in the Department of Justice, people who are trained in that, I’m confident I made the right decisions — a decision that’s consistent for the Rule of Law and an attorney general who doesn’t follow the law is not very effective in leading the Department of Justice."

Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation in March followed revelations that he had failed to disclose to the Senate two meetings he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while he was a high-profile surrogate for Trump's presidential campaign.

But Trump told The New York Times in an interview last week that Sessions's announcement took him by surprise at the time and said that he would have chosen someone else as his attorney general if he had known Sessions would recuse himself.

Trump's tweets over the past week targeting his attorney general as "beleaguered" and "VERY weak" on alleged Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC Clinton: Hard to ignore 'racial subtext of virtually everything Trump says' MORE crimes have stirred speculation that he could be preparing to fire his attorney general or is trying to force his resignation.

But Sessions has indicated he does not intend to step down from atop the Justice Department just yet, telling The Associated Press on Thursday that he would serve as long as Trump wants him to.