President Trump said he continues to have “total” confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has come under pressure to resign after revelations that he met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential campaign.
Mr. Trump gave the brief remark vouching for Mr. Sessions as he was touring the Navy’s new aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, which is under construction in Newport News, Virginia.
Asked by a reporter if he still had confidence in his attorney general, the president responded: “Total.”
Mr. Trump also said that he “wasn’t aware” that Mr. Sessions had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign.
But the president also said that he believed Mr. Session spoke truthfully at his confirmation hearing when he denied having conversations with Russian officials about the election.
“I think he probably did,” Mr. Trump said when asked about whether Mr. Sessions told the truth.
Mr. Sessions has said that he met with Mr. Kislyak as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, not as a surrogate for the Trump campaign.
Mr. Trump also said that he did not think Mr. Sessions should recuse himself from the Justice Department investigation of Russian meddling in the campaigns and alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Several Republican lawmakers have joined Democrats in calling for Mr. Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation.