Newly elected Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez Sunday called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be excluded from the Justice Department’s investigation into communications between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

“What we need to be looking at is whether this election was rigged by Donald Trump and his buddy, Vladimir Putin. And I’ll tell you having Jeff Sessions oversee such an investigation — it’s really unfair to any foxes across America to say that would be the fox guarding the henhouse,” Perez told CNN host Jake Tapper.

The White House Sunday rejected calls for Sessions to recuse himself, at least for now.

“We need an independent investigation because that is a serious, serious issue, and the American people need to understand what the Russians — in cahoots with the Trump folks and others — rigged the elections, when Sessions and Flynn are out there together campaigning, they clearly lacked the authority and the objectivity to conduct that investigation,” Perez added.

The message is the first call to action for Perez, who won the party chairmanship by a 235-200 vote on Saturday. Shortly after Perez won, WikiLeaks posted what it said were 18 emails showing Perez “working for Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders” during the 2016 Democratic nomination process.

While Perez went on the offensive against alleged foul play among those in the Republican administration, Trump told attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday that the Republican Party is the party of the American worker and then blasted Democrats for their own internal problems in a tweet sent out early Sunday.

“The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally ‘rigged.’ Bernie’s guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!” Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Perez, who was Obama’s labor secretary, on Saturday bashed supporters of President Trump following his victory, calling them the “know-nothing movement,” and apparent reference to the Know Nothings of the 19th century, a movement that was intolerant of Catholic immigrants.

White House not asking Sessions to recuse himself from Russia investigation

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Spokeswoman says the FBI not too concerned about contacts between Trump campaign and Russians

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“Certainly we have to do a better job, as the Democratic Party, of messaging what we stand for. We have to make sure that we’re out there everywhere talking about how we’re the party of good job creation, we’re the party of middle-class security, we’re the party of inclusion, we believe our diversity is our greatest strength,” Perez said on Sunday.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on Friday said it would be necessary for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself and have a special prosecutor appointed to oversee any legal action brought as a result of congressional investigations into contacts between Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials.

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