Sessions interviewed in Russia probe

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Barr back on the hot seat McCabe: 'I don't think I will ever be free of this president and his maniacal rage' MORE was interviewed last week by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s team as part of the Justice Department's investigation into Russian election meddling.

The Justice Department confirmed a report in The New York Times that Sessions was questioned for several hours. It is the first time that Mueller’s team has interviewed a member of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE’s Cabinet.

Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation in March, despite criticism from Trump. It was reported earlier this month that Trump ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to block Sessions from recusing himself, but the attorney general refused.

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It is likely that Mueller questioned Sessions about Trump's firing of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyDOJ attorney looking into whether CIA withheld info during start of Russia probe: NYT Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation Raising the Barr isn't always the best way to combat corruption MORE and whether the president obstructed justice. 

Sessions recommended that Trump fire Comey over the handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe 'Palmetto Promise': South Carolina will decide the race Alabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Worries grow as moderates split Democratic vote MORE’s private email server, but Comey has said he thinks the president fired him for refusing to drop the FBI's investigation into Michael Flynn.

Mueller's team announced in December that Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, had pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and was cooperating with their investigation.

Sessions has also been under scrutiny for statements he made during his confirmation hearing, when he told the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath that he had no knowledge of communications between the Trump campaign and Russia and that he had not communicated with Russians himself. 

It was later reported that Sessions had met three times with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before the election, which he said was done in his capacity as a senator from Alabama.

Sessions later testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee in November that his previous statements were truthful.

He acknowledged that he participated in a meeting with former Trump campaign aide George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosCalifornia Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat DOJ releases new tranche of Mueller witness documents Trump rails against Fox News for planning interviews with Schiff, Comey MORE, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians and attempts to set up a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russians, according to documents unsealed in Mueller’s probe.

Sessions testified that he did not have any “clear recollection” of what Papadopoulos said at the meeting. 

“After reading his account, and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government,” Sessions said during his November testimony.

“Out of respect for the special and his process, and because of the privacy obligations we owe to potential or actual witnesses, the White House does not comment on witness appearances before the special counsel,” White House lawyer Ty Cobb said in a statement on Tuesday.

--Jordan Fabian contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:49 a.m.