Attorney General Sessions say he has confidence in special investigator Mueller

The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has rejected allegations that he took part in collusion with Moscow to influence the 2016 election as an "appalling and detestable lie". He can't remember whether he met Kislyak at a small, private reception attended by both men prior to a Trump campaign speech at the Mayflower hotel in April, or assuming that he did, what he might have said to the ambassador.

In his testimony on Tuesday, Sessions addressed media reports that he may have had a third previously undisclosed meeting with Kislyak at Washington's Mayflower Hotel previous year.

"I do not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian ambassador or any other Russian officials", he said. Levin asked, defending Sessions from Democrat reprimands.

It was also Burr who interrupted Harris's questioning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a June 7 hearing, when she demanded a yes-or-no answer on whether or not he would grant Special Counsel Robert Mueller full independence in his conduct of his investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Sessions said it was "absurd" to suggest that he should have kept his distance from that decision given its apparent connection to the FBI's investigation of Russian meddling in the presidential election. "This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it", Sessions said.

"I've watched that video so many times", said Flores. As my Slate colleague Christina Cauterucci noted of the Twitter reaction at the time, "two long-serving white male legislators working together to stop a new female senator of color from getting an answer to a simple question was not a good look".

Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee'. Senators were hoping Tuesday to confirm this meeting occurred, but Sessions was having some memory issues. However, he said this was not a case of claiming "executive privilege" but rather in line with confidentiality over debates within the justice department.

Sessions, under questioning, also pointed to the reasons why he wanted Comey to go.

Senator Angus King, an independent, questioned Sessions' legal basis for refusing to answer questions after Sessions said Trump had not invoked executive privilege regarding the conversations.

"Did you have any communication with any Russian businessmen or any Russian nationals?" Sen.

On Feb. 15, the day after Trump had a private conversation with then-FBI chief Comey in the Oval Office, Comey asked Sessions to ensure that he was never again left alone with the president - something inappropriately close. Comey's decision to announce a year ago that Clinton would not be prosecuted over her emails was a "usurpation" of the Justice Department's authority, Sessions said.

FRANKEN: Yeah. And what's odd about it is in the press conference after that, he said that if I had just slowed down a little bit, I would have, you know, I should have, in retrospect, said that I had met twice with the Russian ambassador. When asked whether Sessions thought it appropriate to raise those concerns before Trump fired Comey, Sessions simply reiterated, "I did not do so".

"Why don't you tell me?" What he was asked, in practical terms, was "if you found out the Trump campaign was engaged in a treasonous plot to capture the presidency through the illegal help of a historically hostile foreign power, would you quit over it?"

Sessions' testimony did not provide damaging new information on any Trump campaign ties with Russian Federation or on Comey's firing, but his refusal to discuss conversations with Trump raised fresh questions about whether the White House has something to hide. He's denied any ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, and tells senators he was never filled in on the hacking details.

  • Leroy Wright