WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to step aside from the Justice Department investigation into whether Russia interfered in last year's election has drawn mixed reactions from Ohio's U.S. senators.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown had said recusal wasn't enough and Sessions "must resign his post immediately." A Brown spokeswoman said in email Thursday that Brown stands by that statement.

In early January, Sen. Brown visited WKYC's studios for an interview in which he had spoken out against confirming Sessions as Attorney General.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman earlier urged Sessions to recuse himself from the probe and said he thinks Sessions "did the right thing" Thursday.

Sessions' decision came amid growing pressure from Democrats and Republicans after revelations he twice spoke with the Russian ambassador to the United States and didn't say so when pressed by Congress.

U.S. Reps Tim Ryan, Marcy Kaptur and Joyce Beatty also are among Ohio Democrats calling for Sessions' resignation.