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Sessions recuses himself...White House defends attorney general...Stocks retreat from highs

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 2, 2017 at 2:56 p.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from a federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 White House election. Sessions faced mounting pressure from both Democrats and Republicans to step aside after revelations that he had twice talked with Moscow's U.S. envoy during the presidential campaign. Sessions' conversations with the ambassador seem to contradict his sworn statements to Congress during his confirmation hearings. But Sessions says he didn't lie at those hearings. He continues to draw a distinction between his conversations with the Russian ambassador in his role as a senator and his role in the Trump campaign. He says he "should have slowed down and said 'but I did meet with one Russian official a couple of times.' Sessions insisted he never met with Russian officials to discuss the campaign.

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sean Spicer is defending Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying he was simply doing his job as a former senator when he spoke with the Russian ambassador. Spicer tells reporters aboard Air Force Once that Sessions did not mislead in sworn statements he made to Congress during his confirmation hearing. He argues conversations with ambassadors are part of regular Senate business.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota officials are bracing for billions of dollars in additional health care expenses if President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans move ahead with a plan they're considering to replace the Affordable Care Act. A draft state planning document shows Minnesota would lose $1.3 billion starting next year under a Republican proposal that drastically restructures Medicaid funding for low-income residents. Those losses could grow to $6 billion annually in the next decade. Minnesota was one of 31 states to expand Medicaid, a marquee portion of the health care law championed by President Barack Obama that Republicans have promised to replace.

NEW YORK (AP) — Banks and other financial companies have led stocks lower on Wall Street a day after indexes soared to their latest record highs. Banks had soared a day earlier as investors hoped that higher interest rates would help them earn more from lending. Energy companies fell today along with the price of crude oil. The Dow fell 112 points, to finish just above 21,000. The S&P lost 14 points. The Nasdaq fell 42 points.

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say they've captured the members of a violent street gang who killed three Long Island high school students last year. The victims included two girls who were attacked with a machete and baseball bats as they walked through their suburban neighborhood. Thirteen alleged members of the gang are charged with a slew of violent crimes and seven murders over a five year period. The killings came amid a national conversation about illegal immigration, and prosecutors say 10 of the 13 indicted suspects were citizens of El Salvador or Honduras who were in the U.S. illegally.

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The Associated Press

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