The Latest: Russia says Sessions’ flap echoes McCarthyism

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' talks with the Russian ambassador (all times local):

6:51 a.m.

Russia's top diplomat says the uproar over U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' meetings with the Russian ambassador is a replay of McCarthyism.

Sessions recused himself Thursday from any probe that examines communications between President Donald Trump's aides and Moscow following revelations that Sessions spoke twice with the Russian ambassador during the campaign and failed to say so to Congress.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR'-gay LAHV'-rahf) says contacts with officials and lawmakers are part of any ambassador's duties. He says the pressure on Sessions "strongly resembles a witch hunt or the times of McCarthyism, which we thought were long over in the United States as a civilized country."

Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s led a hunt for communist traitors he believed worked in the government and the army.


3:12 a.m.

The controversy over any Kremlin involvement in American politics isn't fading away anytime soon.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is now the second high-ranking member of the Trump administration to take a hit over conversations with Russia's envoy to the U.S.

Sessions is recusing himself from any probe that examines communications between Trump aides and Moscow.

The recusal follows a chorus of demands that Sessions resolve the seeming contradiction between his two conversations with Moscow's U.S. envoy and his statements to Congress in January that he had not communicated with Russians during the campaign.

It carries echoes of a similar controversy involving retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who two weeks ago resigned as national security adviser after misleading White House officials about his own discussions with the Russian official.