Justice Dept: Sessions spoke with Russian ambassador in 2016

Jeff Sessions
FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, file photo, Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate is working overtime toward confirming President Donald Trump's close ally, Sessions, to become the nation's top law enforcement officer as attorney general. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the presidential campaign.

The Justice Department said Wednesday night that the two conversations took place last year when Sessions was a senator.

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One was an office visit that occurred in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The department says the other occurred in a group setting with other ambassadors following a Heritage Foundation speech.

Revelations of the contact, first reported by The Washington Post, were likely to fuel calls for him to step aside from an ongoing FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The White House did not immediately comment.

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