Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stepped aside from investigations into alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election.
The country’s top prosecutor said he was recusing himself from the probe over “matters that deal with the Trump campaign”.
However, Mr Sessions denied any wrongdoing following revelations he met twice with Russia’s ambassador during Mr Trump’s election battle, saying the meetings were in his capacity as Senator, not as a campaign aide.
He had faced calls to resign altogether after some Democrats accused him of lying about meetings with Moscow representatives when he was quizzed on the issue during his Senate confirmation hearing in January.
“I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign,” Sessions told reporters at a news conference after several of his fellow Republicans in Congress called for him to recuse himself.
Sessions said he had been weighing recusal – ruling himself out from any role in the investigations – even before the latest twist of the controversy over ties between Trump associates and Russia that has dogged the early days of his presidency.