Trump's attorney general Sessions faces Russian Federation probe grilling

Trump's attorney general Sessions faces Russian Federation probe grilling

Asked about media reports that he had met with Kislyak on a third occasion at a Washington hotel previous year, Sessions testified that did not remember meeting or having a conversation with the ambassador at the event. Dianne Feinstein about whether he spoke with President Donald Trump about Comey's firing, Sessions said: "I'm not able to discuss or confirm or deny the nature of private conversations that I may have had with the president on this subject or others".

The attorney general stepped aside from the Justice Department probe into Russian meddling in the campaign on March 2, the day after The Washington Post reported on two previously undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

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

He then took a swipe at Sessions saying the attorney general didn't understand the legalities of governing.

"I am not stonewalling", he said.

"Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign", Sessions said.

Sessions said it would be "inappropriate" for him to reveal private conversations with Trump when the president "has not had a full opportunity to review the questions and to make a decision on whether or not to approve such an answer". Another is contacts between Sessions and Russian ambassador to Washington Sergei Kislyak, whom Sessions has variously claimed he did not meet with during the campaign, then twice, and now, perhaps, three times.

"But you never remember having a conversation or meeting with Ambassador Kislyak?" asked Burr. But Trump undercut that version May 11, telling NBC News that the firing was in response to Comey's handling of the Russian Federation investigation.

Sessions did not ask the White House about whether Trump was invoking executive privilege over his testimony and Trump did not opt to assert the privilege, a senior administration official said Tuesday.

With regard to his role on the Trump campaign and any potential collusion with the Russians, Sessions vehemently proclaimed, "the suggestion that I participated in any hurt this country is an appalling and detestable lie".

Sanders confirmed that the President did interview Robert Mueller as a candidate for FBI director the day before he was named special counsel of the federal investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian Federation ties.

He also has vented frustration to aides on Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, a decision that led to Rosenstein's appointment of a special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, a former FBI director.

Rosenstein testified that he is the only one who has the authority to fire Mueller, who was appointed following the May 9 ousting of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and that he had seen no good cause to do so.

Mr. Comey said that there were matters with respect to the recusal that were problematic and he couldn't talk about them.

A friend of the president suggested Monday that Trump was considering firing him, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted Monday that it was "time to rethink" the special counsel's investigation.

Mr Wyden asked Mr Sessions what problematic issues existed.

"The Senate and the American people deserve to know exactly what involvement with the Russian Federation investigation he had before his recusal, what safeguards are in place to prevent his meddling, and why he felt it was appropriate to recommend the firing of Director Comey when he was leading that investigation", said Sen.

In particular, Sessions tamped down Comey's recounting of the February 14 meeting Comey had with Trump - where Trump reportedly asked him stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

After Sessions refused to say whether he had ever discussed the Russian Federation investigation with Trump, Heinrich and Sen.

Shortly after the meeting, Comey said he confronted Sessions, saying that had become increasingly uneasy about being left alone with Trump. I knew him before that.

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