IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

First Read's Morning Clips: Recusal

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Sessions holds his first meeting with heads of federal law enforcement components
Attorney General Jeff Sessions holds his first meeting with heads of federal law enforcement components at the Justice Department. in Washington on Feb. 9, 2017.Yuri Gripas / Reuters, file

TRUMP AGENDA: You’re recused

NBC’s Ari Melber and Alex Johnson outline what happens next for the Russia investigation: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal leaves any Justice Department investigation of alleged Russian election interference temporarily in the hands of a prosecutor promoted by Barack Obama… That means it's the job of Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente to oversee any investigations related to the presidential campaigns by the FBI or Justice Department attorneys.”

Here’s Trump’s full statement from last night: “Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional. This whole narrative is a way of saving face for Democrats losing an election that everyone thought they were supposed to win. The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election and now they have lost their grip on reality. The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total witch hunt!”

Another adviser once linked to Trump confirms that he met with Russia’s ambassador.

Could Sessions face perjury charges? The Washington Post talks to expert who say: probably not.

POLITICO: “Even if Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn't commit perjury during his confirmation hearing, Sessions could still be in other kinds of legal trouble for failing to tell his Senate colleagues that he met the Russian ambassador on two occasions during the heat of the presidential campaign.”

Who is Sergey Kislyak, anyway?

The Wall Street Journal: “The Trump administration says Attorney General Jeff Sessions was acting as a then-U.S. senator when he talked to Russia’s ambassador at an event during last year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, but Mr. Sessions paid for convention travel expenses out of his own political funds and he spoke about Donald Trump’s campaign at the event, according to a person at the event and campaign-finance records.”

Here’s NBC’s full timeline of the Trump Team and the Russia controversy.

The New York Times reports that the military is getting its wish lists in order.

And then there’s this: “Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to conduct public business as Indiana's governor, his spokesman confirmed late Thursday. In response to an Indianapolis Star story based on public records obtained by paper, Pence spokesman Marc Lotter said: ‘Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state and are being managed according to Indiana's Access to Public Records Act.’”

More, from the Indy Star, which broke the story: “Cybersecurity experts say Pence’s emails were likely just as insecure as Clinton’s. While there has been speculation about whether Clinton's emails were hacked, Pence’s account was actually compromised last summer by a scammer who sent an email to his contacts claiming Pence and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and in urgent need of money.”

And speaking of emails: “An environmental group and several Democratic senators are demanding a review of the personal email account of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, after he said during confirmation hearings that he never used that account for official business as Oklahoma state attorney general,” writes the Washington Post.

From the New York Times: “The White House is fiercely divided over President Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel” the Paris agreement, the 2015 accord that binds nearly every country to curb global warming, with more moderate voices maintaining that he should stick with the agreement despite his campaign pledge.”

Leigh Ann Caldwell reports on yesterday’s Capitol Hill antics over the “missing” Republican health care bill.

For the calendar: The Greene Institute’s “Managing the Disruption” conference, April 2-3, will feature a slate of speakers including David Cameron, Arne Duncan, Chris Christie, Larry Summers, Anthony Scaramucci and more.