WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP)Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the presidential campaign, the Justice Department said Wednesday night.

The Department said the two conversations took place last year when Sessions was still in the U.S. Senate.

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One was an office visit in September that occurred in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The department says the other occurred in a group setting with other ambassadors following a Heritage Foundation speech.

During his confirmation hearing, Sessions denied having any contacts with Russian authorities.

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Revelations of the contact, first reported by The Washington Post, were likely to fuel calls for him to step aside from an ongoing FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

A Sessions representative released a statement reading, “There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer,” and added that Sessions was acting “as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee” in his conversations with the ambassador.

The White House did not immediately comment.

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