AG Sessions: Accusations of Russian Federation collusion 'appalling'

AG Sessions: Accusations of Russian Federation collusion 'appalling'

He called Comey's move "a thunderous thing" and it caused him to conclude "that a fresh start was appropriate".

The attorney general, who recommended Comey be fired, declined to discuss his conversations with the president on the subject, citing a "longstanding policy" that Justice officials not comment on such private discussions.

Democrats pressed Sessions repeatedly to say if he had discussed Russian Federation and Comey with Mr. Trump, but didn't get very far about those conversations between Sessions and the President.

But on Tuesday (local time) Mr Sessions testified he had concerns about Mr Comey's job performance even before he was confirmed.

How did Trump feel about Sessions appearing before the panel?

Though he's the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein would have the authority to fire Mueller since Sessions recused himself in March from any probes related to campaigns for the presidency, like the Russian Federation investigation.

At the same time, Sessions said the USA doesn't have a sufficient strategy to deal with cyberattacks. He said his staff discussed the matter and principle behind it. Trump has suggested there might be tapes of his encounters with Comey; Comey said last week that "lordy" he hopes there are. Sessions said he "racked my brain" and had no meeting with any Russian in his capacity as a Trump campaign adviser.

Mr Sessions said: "He didn't recall this, but I responded to his comment by agreeing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policy". A move the White House hasn't ruled out.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has confidence in the Department of Justice's special counsel investigating Russian interference in USA elections.

Sessions denied meeting with the Russian ambassador following a foreign policy speech by then-candidate Trump at Washington's Mayflower Hotel past year. Sessions added his own letter to that effect, and both documents were sent to Trump, who then fired Comey later on the same day, May 9.

"The suggestion that I participated in any collusion" that would hurt the United States, which "I have served for 35 years ... is an appalling and detestable lie", Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee in his opening statement.

Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee he had a different reason for not answering certain questions: It's how such matters have been handled in the Justice Department for years.

His staffers have since acknowledged that he met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

The testimony by Comey marked the latest chapter in a saga that has dogged the Republican Trump's first five months as president and distracted from his domestic policy agenda including major healthcare and tax cut initiatives. They will also ask about his decision to recuse from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump.

Unable to shake anything out of the trees, Democrats vented much of their frustration at the Attorney General, saying that Sessions had no basis to refuse to answer questions from Senators.

Comey also reportedly told lawmakers behind closed doors that one of those details included another unreported meeting between Sessions and the Russian ambassador.

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