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At hearing, attorney general denies improper Russia contacts

At hearing, attorney general denies improper Russia contacts

Comey said in his testimony that he took the President's statement to be an inappropriate directive.

"Any suggestion I participated in, or was aware of, collusion with the Russians is an appalling and detestable lie".

"I have never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election", stated Sessions, according to Los Angeles Times.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., told Sessions that the Mayflower "plot line" if true - Sessions and Kislyak meeting in plain sight to collude - would be "the greatest caper in the history of espionage". He also said he doesn't recall any conversations with the ambassador during a reception held ahead of Trump's speech.

In March, Sessions stepped aside from the federal investigation into contacts between Russian Federation and the presidential campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice past year with Kislyak.

Meanwhile, rumors were swirling that Trump is about to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

The attorney general's testimony comes days after Comey told congressional investigators that FBI leaders expected Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation before the attorney general's March announcement, however, he declined to publicly say what led to that assessment.

Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico nailed him on that argument.

"I don't know Senator Rubio, probably so", Sessions added, when Rubio asked if any such tapes would have to be preserved.

The attorney general, a prominent supporter of Donald Trump on the campaign trail, has recused himself from the DOJ Russia investigation.

"I take the president at his word - that I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation", Comey said.

Sessions is expected to face sharp questions from his former Senate colleagues about his role in FBI Director James Comey's firing, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to step aside from the investigation involving Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Mr Sessions largely confirmed a key portion of Mr Comey's description of a February meeting at the White House, at which the attorney general and Mr Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner left the Oval Office so the president and Mr Comey could speak alone.

Mr Sessions, in his first public testimony on Capitol Hill since his January confirmation hearing, suggested he's only aware of the intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation attempted to undermine the election because of media reports.

A week after being cut off by Republicans while questioning Trump administration officials, Democratic Sen. Wyden said that answer didn't "Pass the smell test". Richard Burr, committee chairman to Sessions before his opening testimony. This week, he asked her to simply let him answer.


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