Sessions: Comey was wrong to leak Flynn memo

Sessions: Comey was wrong to leak Flynn memo

During an interview with NBC News, President Trump said he fired former FBI director James Comey because of his handling of the Russian Federation investigation.

Using all the skills in filibustering and diversion that he learned in years as an Alabama senator, the Attorney General appeared to escape the hearing without major political damage.

Meetings vs encounters. A new, potentially important word entered the Russian Federation investigation lexicon: encounter. He said he could not recall if he had an informal interactions with Russians at the event.

Earlier Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified that he has not seen evidence of good cause to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, whom he appointed in May to lead the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including any possible collusion with Trump campaign associates.

In part that's because Sessions answered numerous questions he was asked with a variation of "I don't recall" or "I don't think so".

When asked by Sen.

"I'm protecting the president's constitutional right by not giving it away before he has a chance to review it", Sessions replied. Sessions said he did not mislead Congress because the encounters were part of his job as a US senator, not as a Trump campaign representative.

Sessions' responses triggered an explosion by Sen. Ron Wyden: "There are none". "And, it's really, uh, people suggesting through innuendo that I have been not honest about matters and I've tried to be honest".

SESSIONS: No, I don't believe I ever did. I'm following historic policies of Department of Justice. He also said he never had a third meeting with Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the United States.

Wyden said Monday that Sessions hasn't engaged in anything close to a real recusal.

"I can assure you nothing improper, if I had a conversation with [Kislyak]", Sessions said.

When Harris doubled down, asking Sessions about the policy that allowed him to refuse to answer a number of questions that had come up during the hearing, McCain jumped in.

"If President Trump ordered you to fire Special Counsel Mueller, what would you do?" asked Sen. Sessions answered. "There are none, Sen".

Lawmakers will also press Sessions about aspects of Comey's testimony last week.

Rosenstein said that if the president ordered him to fire the special counsel handling the Russian Federation investigation, he would only comply if the request was "lawful and appropriate".

Feinstein then asked, "How do you view that?"

Members of the Senate intelligence committee are expressing confusion over why Attorney General Jeff Sessions will not disclose his conversations with the president. "And when asked I said that to the president". Sessions requested an open hearing, though he made clear in his opening remarks and several times during his testimony that there were some things he would not discuss, including confidential conversations with the president.

Part of that is that Sessions, obviously, was not in the room in Comey's one-on-one meetings with the president, where Comey said Trump directed him to back off the FBI's investigation into fired national security adviser Michael Flynn. Sessions said Tuesday that Trump's words speak for themselves and he could not discuss more than the letter.

"It would be premature for me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice about executive privilege", he said. I'm accused of some sort of reception plotting some sort of influence campaign for the American election.

While Leahy leveled serious concern with Sessions' involvement in the Russian Federation investigation, he also voiced disapproval of Trump's proposed 2018 Department of Justice budget, which slashes spending by more than $1 billion over 2017 levels.

And that boss, Jeff Sessions, also promised Tuesday not to get involved in any firing.

"I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign", he said. Sessions said any suggestion that he colluded with the Russians "to hurt this country", and even those that implied that he was aware of any collusion, were "appalling and detestable lie [s]".

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director also testified that he and the agency had believed Sessions was "inevitably going to recuse" for reasons he said he could not elaborate on.

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