Donald Trump said he regretted his choice for attorney general Wednesday as he sought to protect himself from the growing firestorm over Russia's alleged election meddling which is engulfing his presidency.
On the eve of the six-month mark of Trump's inauguration, it also emerged that senators will next week grill three of the pivotal players in the Trump campaign -- including his eldest son and son-in-law-- over swirling allegations of the presidential campaign's collusion with Russia.
Trump Jr sent shockwaves through Washington last week by releasing a series of emails that detailed how he had attended the meeting after being promised "very high level and sensitive information" that was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."
The announcements came as the Trump administration and the Kremlin tried to quell an uproar about a previously undisclosed meeting between Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during this month's G20 summit.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was one of the first senior Republican politicians to endorse Trump before last November's election and was rewarded by being appointed America's top law enforcement officer.
But he stood aside in March from overseeing an FBI-led probe into whether members of the Trump team colluded with Moscow during the election campaign after it emerged that Sessions had not disclosed during his Senate confirmation hearing that he met twice with the Russian ambassador to Washington.
In an interview with the New York Times, Trump said Sessions had acted unfairly in taking the job in the first place if he had felt in any way compromised.
"How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, 'Thanks, Jeff, but I'm not going to take you,'" Trump said.
"It's extremely unfair -- and that's a mild word -- to the president."
Trump also criticized Sessions' performance at the Senate confirmation hearing in January, in which he denied meeting with any Russians when he had in fact met with the Russian ambassador.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is now due to grill the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is one of the most powerful figures in the Trump White House, in a closed-door session next Monday, his lawyer told CNN.