US president Donald Trump on Thursday released a statement publicly defending the Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he removed himself from an FBI inquiry investigating alleged Russian interference in the US election.
Trump condemned the Democrats and said the party “have lost their grip on reality”.
The statement reads: “Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong.
“He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional.
“This whole narrative is a way of saving face for Democrats losing an election that everyone thought they were supposed to win.”
The response comes amid accusations that Sessions lied to Congress about his conversations with Russian officials – something the Attorney General strongly denies.
With some Democrats pushing for Sessions to resign as Attorney General, President Trump came out to show he was firmly behind his man.
The statement continues: “The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election and now, they have lost their grip on reality.
“The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total witch hunt!”
Adam Schiff, a Democratic ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, rejected Sessions’s claim that his contacts with Kislyak were unrelated to his work with the Trump campaign as “simply not credible.”
“In the midst of a Russian campaign aimed at undermining our election and as a highly visible proxy for candidate Trump, Sessions would have had to be extraordinarily naive or gullible to believe that the ambassador was seeking him out in his office for a discussion on military matters, and Sessions is neither,” he said in a statement.
“I have come to the reluctant conclusion that the Attorney General should step down,” he said, echoing calls made earlier by the top Democrats in both chambers of the Republican-controlled Congress. Trump has come under increasing pressure over Russia’s interference in the election and alleged contacts between his entourage and Moscow.