Key dates in the tenure of Jeff Sessions

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Key dates in the tenure of Jeff Sessions, a Republican former U.S. senator from Alabama and early endorser of Donald Trump, who became Trump's attorney general:

—Feb. 28, 2016: Sessions, a former Alabama attorney general and four-term U.S. senator, endorses Trump for president.

—March 3: Trump names Sessions to lead his campaign's foreign policy advisory team.

—July 2016: Sessions talks to Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak during an event around the time of the Republican National Convention, a meeting that would go undisclosed until the following March.

—Sept. 8: Sessions meets again with Kislyak, this time in Sessions' Senate office. Sessions would later characterize this meeting as coming in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and not related to the campaign.

—Nov. 18: Trump offers Sessions the attorney general post.

—Jan. 10, 2017: During a sometimes combative confirmation hearing, Sessions vows to stay independent of the White House and to stand up to Trump when necessary. He says an attorney general must be prepared to resign if asked to do something "unlawful or unconstitutional." He promises to recuse himself from any investigation into former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, citing comments he made during the campaign. He also denies having any contact with officials from the Russian government.

—Feb. 8: Sessions is confirmed by the Senate on a nearly party-line vote of 52-47. He is sworn in the next day.

—Feb. 22: The Justice and Education departments roll back Obama administration rules allowing transgender students to use public bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities, saying those rules are best left to states.

—Feb. 23: Sessions reverses an Obama-era policy phasing out the use of private prisons for some federal prisoners.

—March 1: The Justice Department confirms a report that Sessions had two meetings with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. during the campaign.

—March 2: Sessions announces that he will recuse himself from any investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

—March 10: Sessions seeks the resignations of 46 U.S. attorneys who are holdovers from the Obama administration.

—May 9: Trump fires FBI Director James Comey, who is leading the probe into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

—May 12: Sessions directs federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges possible against the majority of suspects, reversing Obama-era policies aimed at easing prison overcrowding and rethinking how offenders are prosecuted and sentenced.

—May 17: Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is named special counsel to continue the Russia probe.

—June 13: In heated testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sessions denies colluding with the Russian government, calling the allegation a "detestable and appalling lie" and asserting that he never met with or spoke to Russians about election interference.

—July 19: In an interview with The New York Times, Trump says he would have picked someone else for the attorney general job if he had known Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation.

—July 24: In a series of early-morning tweets, Trump refers to Sessions as "beleaguered," blasting him for failing to investigate Clinton.

—July 25: In another tweet, Trump fumes: "Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!"

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