While U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed on Thursday to recuse himself from the Russia inquiry, it isn't clear he understands why so many Americans are disturbed about his dishonesty regarding his conversations with a Russian official during the presidential campaign. Maybe I can help him out.

Mr. Sessions didn't lie about something as inconsequential as a consensual sexual encounter; rather, he lied under oath about conversations that potentially relate to Russia's interference in a national election. His behavior makes it clear that he cannot be trusted.

President Trump should fire Sessions, and an independent investigation into Russian election interference should take place. Only these steps will help Republicans maintain credibility with all Americans, regardless of their political affiliation.

Charles Wurzinger, Coon Rapids

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When Sessions was asked in his confirmation hearings (and under oath) about contacts with Russia, he could have answered, "I met with the ambassador in my work as a senator, not in campaign work," an ostensibly innocent explanation.

Instead, he gave a lawyer's evasive answer, one that suggested, falsely, no contact with Russian officials at all. We are left then to speculate why, in front of a mostly friendly group of longtime Senate colleagues, he was so determined to keep away from the subject of Russia.

Paul Nelson, St. Paul

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Geez, you just don't understand. During his confirmation hearing, when Sessions stated under oath that he had "no communications with the Russians" during the campaign, he was not lying.

It might have been hard to see, but he had his fingers crossed under the table.

Tom Baumann, Isanti, Minn.

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Compare Star Tribune and New York Times headlines for the same March 2 article: "Obama aides spread intel on Trump" and "Obama White House Raced to Preserve Russian Trail" respectively. Does the Star Tribune headline really reflect the reporting of the three New York Times reporters? As I read it, I realized the article detailed the actions of aides who were worried about the integrity of the evidence being compromised in the days before and after the election. This headline does not reflect the article's intent. I think the Star Tribune should respect the source material and stop editorializing on the front page.

Karen Nemchik, Minneapolis

Democrats' response, opposition shows they're out of touch

I really enjoyed listening to the very negative Democrat response to President Trump's recent address to Congress, given by the former Democrat governor of Kentucky. Kentucky has a Republican governor, two Republican U.S. Senators, and Trump won Kentucky by 30 percent last November. I guess I need to be reminded who's more out of touch with the electorate.

George Gaida, Hayward, Wis.

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As a 56-year-old who first began paying attention to politics during the Nixon administration, I have never seen a more desperate, disparaging, deceitful and politically extreme party in American government than what has evolved from the Obama administration into today's Democratic Party.

There are so many far-left ideologues in the Democratic Party today that it will take a miracle to pull the party back to center gravity again. Unfortunately for them, most Americans are positioned closer to the center of the political divide than on the edges.

I can't even count how many people I know who voted Democrat for President Bill Clinton (as I did the first time he ran) but who abandoned the party when the party abandoned conservative Democrats.

Good luck, left-wingers. The last time this many people abandoned ship was during the sinking of the Titanic. They never knew what hit them, either.

Corby Pelto, Plymouth

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I read with interest the March 2 letter to the editor concerning Democrats' opposition to President Trump's policies. The writer predicts disaster for the Democrats. Apparently the letter writer, in the manner of Washington Irving's fictional character Rip Van Winkle, slept through the eight years of continuous and unrelenting Republican opposition to President Obama's policies, which seems to have resulted in the election of President Trump and the Republicans gaining control of both houses of Congress. Isn't that an excellent model for the Democrats to follow on their path to take back control of the Congress and to elect a Democratic president?

Michael Swirnoff, Minneapolis

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The president's speech to the Congress was a calmer version of his earlier renditions.

However, new content was next to nothing. Hiding among his "sober" rhetorical flourish of past campaign materials was a very ominous phrase regarding prevention of a beachhead being laid down by extremist Muslims. My jaw dropped upon hearing this.

As a Muslim immigrant of close to four decades, this came as neither a calm nor a sober assessment of the facts on the ground. It was pandering to an extreme group within our nation. While Trump was sorrowful about the Kansas killing and wounding, he did not mitigate the conditions leading to that vicious attack. In fact, he ratcheted up his fearmongering monologue on this matter.

Shafi A. Khaled, Lilydale

If the name is going to change, which new honoree has primacy?

Regarding "Yale drops link to Calhoun; is Mpls. next?" (March 2): Why should Lake Calhoun have a Dakota name (Bde Maka Ska)? What did the Ojibwe call it? They were here, too. How about "Waabang gichigami," referencing the sea to the east, which was the most important reference point on the Ojibwe compass.

Don Grussing, Minnetonka

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Perhaps the least expensive option would be to rename Lake Calhoun to Lake Calhoun in honor of the historically designated Calhoun Beach Club.

Dennis Fazio, Minneapolis

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A quick way to resolve the controversy about Lake Calhoun is to rename it Lake John. Those opposed to the name change should be satisfied because it was Mr. Calhoun's first name. Others would point to the three former Minnesota governors named John. Still others could look to their family and friends for an affable Minnesotan named John and decide it was named after him.

John Byrnes, Plymouth

What the retailer did for me, as a woman, in the 1970s

Marshal H. Tanick's commentary about J.C. Penney's demise ("Penney's latest in brick-and-mortar death spiral," March 2) reminded me of an event in my history regarding J.C. Penney. In the early 1970s, I worked downtown. At that time in history, women could not open charge accounts in their own name. The accounts were in their husband's names. So women had no ability to establish personal credit. Word got around that J.C. Penney was allowing women to open charge accounts. I walked to Penney's and was able to open a charge account. Every month I would buy some little thing on credit and pay for it every month. That was how I was able to establish credit in my own name. What a liberating experience.

Ann Falk, Burnsville