On Thursday, congressional Republicans broke ranks to join angry Democrats in demanding that Attorney General Jeff Session should quit leading the investigation into contacts between #Russians and the Trump campaign.

This followed on from the revelation that Mr Sessions #spoke directly to the Russian ambassador last year, which contradicted his testimony at his confirmation hearing.

The #justice department acknowledged Sessions' contact with the Russian ambassador late Wednesday as the issue started to take on a bipartisan luster, with the furor crossing into Thursday morning's main news.

And the topic was most certainly heated.

Kevin McCarthy, House majority leader and Republican of California, said on Morning Joe (MSNBC) that Sessions should clarify his #testimony and also step down from the impending Russia-linked investigations. “I think — the trust of the American people — you recuse yourself from these situations,” Mr. McCarthy said. “You want to make sure everybody trusts the investigation.”

Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who runs and overseas the Oversight Committee, added on Thursday that Sessions should clarify his testimony and #recuse himself, adding to growing Republican dissatisfaction on the matter.

Democrats hit out

Many Democrats, such as #Nancy Pelosi and Norma Kamala were more vociferous in their denunciations of Sessions, demanding that he step down immediately from his post.

Chuck Schumer, Senate Democratic leader, said that Sessions should resign “for the good of the country.”

Pelosi wrote on Twitter on Thursday: 'After #Lying Under Oath, there can be no doubt AG #Sessions is unfit to run the Department of Justice.' She followed this up with another Tweet: 'I don't know what problem Republicans have with the truth.

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Hiding their health care bill. Lying about conversations with Russians.'

#Kamala Harris was just as unflinching. 'It is clear Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath about meeting with Russian officials. He must resign immediately.' This was followed by another Tweet that read: 'Weeks ago I said Sessions should recuse himself from the investigation into Russia and Trump’s campaign.

That is no longer enough.'

Nancy Pelosi was recorded as saying on Thursday that there must be an independent, outside commission created or brought in to investigate Trump's connections to the #Russians.

Trump's administration dismiss and deny

Trump's team and administration dismissed the accusations saying it was partisan backlash, and Sessions himself said in a statement that he had not talked about any election issues with #Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak. “I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”

Sessions was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump, becoming a trusted advisor and a powerful figure in the administration. He helped create and form Trump's campaign strategy, focusing Trump's message on immigration and trade.

On NBC News on Thursday morning, Sessions again declared that he hadn't discussed the campaign with the ambassador, but alluded that he may indeed be happy to step down from the investigation. He claimed that whenever it was appropriate, he would #recuse himself. “There’s no doubt about that.”