Paul Ryan bats down Jeff Session questions: I see no reason for him to recuse himself
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan during a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2016 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

In a press conference Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan tried to allay concerns that Attorney General Jeff Sessions could oversee an impartial probe of the relationship between the Russian government and Trump campaign.

Ryan referred back to Sessions' own position on the issue, noting, "If he himself is a subject of an investigation, of course he would (recuse himself)... But if he's not I don't see any purpose or reason for doing this," Ryan said. Ryan said Democrats are "lighting their hair on fire" to keep the Russia story in the news.

On Wednesday night and throughout Thursday morning, Democrats and even some Republicans demanded that Sessions recuse himself, with some lawmakers going so far as to say he should resign for reportedly misleading lawmakers during his confirmation hearing about his meeting with a Russian ambassador. The Attorney General's detractors say Sessions may have perjured himself.

Ryan then promised to prosecute people who are leaking classified information, before affirming the GOP's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.