Sessions denies improper Russian Federation contacts

Sessions denies improper Russian Federation contacts

He added: "Sen. Franken asked me a rambling question, after some six hours of testimony, that included dramatic, new allegations that the United States intelligence community has advised President-elect (Donald) Trump that there was continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government".

Wyden got into a heated exchange with Sessions during the hearing over whether or not Sessions violated his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation by supporting the termination of former FBI Director James Comey.

Talk of collusion increased last week when fired FBI Director James B. Comey testified that there were "facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make [Sessions' ] continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic". Yet he says he does not have the power to invoke executive privilege, and the president has not asserted it.

The attorney general on March 2 recused himself from the FBI investigation into Russia's role in the election, saying he felt he was required to do so because he had been a prominent figure in Trump's campaign. He never, he insisted, knew anything about the Russian Federation probe or had any role in it.

And while he had recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, Sessions insisted, "I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations".

It it appeared as though Sessions had consulted with a legal team - at the Department of Justice or the White House Counsel's Office - and burning that much time at the hearing without revealing any private conversations with the president had to be viewed as a victory.

And while he had recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, Sessions insisted, "I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations". He said he didn't recall whether he'd had a third meeting with the Russian ambassador, in addition to the original two he initially failed to report.

Sessions acknowledged that he had met twice with Kislyak - once during the Republican National Convention and once in his Senate office - and he did not disclose that during his confirmation hearing.

Some Democrats grew impatient, warning Sessions was stonewalling on vital issues.

McConnell told reporters Tuesday that "I have a lot of confidence in Bob Mueller". There are none, Sen. "This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it".

Comey said during his own appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that he thought Trump violated the normal separation of criminal investigations from White House oversight by urging him to end the investigation into Russia's activities. "He was preparing for the stop here today", said Sanders.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein now heads up the probe.

Following the hearing, a White House spokeswoman said Trump "has no intention" of dismissing Mueller.

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

He told King that he never sought details on the Russian Federation investigation because of his close connections to Trump's presidential campaign.

While asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions about his refusal to answer questions Tuesday concerning conversations he may have had with President Donald Trump, the California Democrat was interrupted by Sen.

Following his testimony, CNN reported that Sessions has simply not discussed with the White House whether Trump had chose to invoke executive privilege regarding their conversations. "I'm protecting the president's constitutional right by not giving it away before he has a chance".

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Rosenstein at a budget hearing Tuesday what he would do if Trump ordered him to fire Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the USA elections and possible Russian ties to Trump's campaign.

It was still unclear by the end of the almost three-hour hearing why Sessions met with Kislyak privately if not to address reports that Russian Federation was engaged in a hacking campaign to undermine Democrats and, specifically, the party's presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. But he did allow for the possibility that he encountered him in a reception that he says was attended by a couple dozen people, though he said he had no specific recollection of that.

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