Ted Cruz shrugs off Sessions ties to Russia as 'nothing burger': Questions are just 'political theater'
Sen. Ted Cruz (MSNBC)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) defended Attorney General Jeff Sessions from questions swirling about his apparent efforts to conceal his contacts with Russia.


“What we are seeing is a lot of political theater,” Cruz said Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

The Texas Republican questioned the timing of a Washington Post report showing Sessions had met twice with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, in July and September, as U.S. authorities investigated whether the Kremlin had attempted to interfere with the presidential election.

"Everyone is in high dudgeon about the meeting,” Cruz said. “The underlying meeting is a nothing burger. It's what senators do every day. Meeting with foreign ambassadors, that's part of the job.”

Several GOP leaders -- including House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) -- have called on Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation into Trump ties to Russia.

Many top Democratic lawmakers have called on the attorney general to resign for misleading statements about the meetings during his confirmation hearings.

“I think everyone is getting all worked up because it's a chance to beat up the attorney general and to beat up the president,” Cruz said. “But I think the underlying meeting is he is doing his job.”

Cruz admitted Sessions could have "been more clear" during his confirmation, but he described the embattled attorney general as "a man of integrity, a man of candor."