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Sessions testifies he was never briefed on Russian interference in election

Sessions testifies he was never briefed on Russian interference in election

On Tuesday, Attorney General Sessions insisted his response to Franken, when viewed in context, was accurate.

Some have said Sessions recusal should have prohibited him from firing former FBI Director James Comey. He says he does not recall any private meetings or conversations with Russian officials at that event.

The former Alabama senator defended himself against accusations that he misrepresented himself during his confirmation hearing by saying he hadn't met with Russian officials during the campaign.

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

Sessions insisted he stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation because he was a principal adviser to the Trump campaign, not because he did something wrong or was a subject of the probe.

"Not one thing happened that was improper" in his two meetings as a senator with the Russian ambassador previous year, he told the lawmakers, vowing to defend his "honor against scurrilous and false allegations".

In March he acknowledged he met twice past year with Russia's ambassador to Washington, Sergei Kislyak.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on the hot seat Tuesday. Ron Wyden of OR asked Sessions whether there were any undisclosed reasons for his recusal from the Russian Federation probe. Sessions said of that moment: "He was concerned about it, and his recollection of what he said to me about this concern is consistent with my recollection".

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., criticized Sessions for taking an oath to tell the truth and then refusing to answer questions. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., rejected knowledge of such information and said that he doesn't appreciate the "secret innuendo being leaked out there about me".

He called accusations of collusion "an appalling and detestable lie" and derided the suggestion last week by Comey that there were "problematic" issues that forced Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe. Sessions also said he did not know if the president has tapes of his meetings, including those with Mr. Comey.

But Mr Sessions said that despite his sense of problems at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he never raised that with Mr Comey.

But his refusal to answer questions about his conversations with President Donald Trump, particularly whether they discussed the reasons for Comey's firing in an Oval Office meeting the day before the dismissal, was most disturbing.

Sessions refused to say if he had ever discussed the Russian Federation investigation with Trump, arguing that he would not disclose private communications with the president. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Comey was asked why he didn't immediately disclose Trump's request to drop the investigation against the former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn investigation to Sessions, who, at the time, had not yet recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation.

During Comey's testimony before the same Senate committee last week, he said he wasn't aware of those concerns.

Additionally, if Comey had been concerned about meeting with the president one-on-one, a concern to which he testified last week, Sessions said Comey should've informed another Justice Department official.


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