Sessions: 'I did not recuse myself from defending my honor'

"The suggestion that I participated in any collusion, that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government, or hurt this country which I have served with honor for 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie", Sessions said. He can't remember the substance of his interactions with former FBI Director James Comey regarding Comey's stated discomfort with an impromptu one-on-one meeting with Trump in the Oval Office, which took place after Sessions and Vice President Mike Pence were asked to step out.

Here are his full prepared remarks to the committee, annotated by NPR journalists. From his opening statement onward, Sessions said that in maintaining silence, he was protecting any future invocation of executive privilege the president might assert. "You don't walk into any committee meeting and reveal confidential communications with president of United States".

Last week, when deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein repeatedly refused to answer a question from Sen.

One of those administration officials, Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, met with members of the Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session, according to the agency. Levin asked, defending Sessions from Democrat reprimands.

Sessions testified Tuesday that he recused himself from the current Russian Federation investigation only because of a regulation that required it because of his involvement in the Trump campaign.

Not unlike Senator Martin Heinrich, Senator Kamala Harris has a bone to pick with Jeff Sessions over why he refuses to answer questions in an open senate hearing based on statutes that exist only in the attorney general's imagination.

As Sessions seemed to imply in his response, he was involved with the Trump campaign when the intelligence community's consensus first became public previous year.

Miller: "She was trying to shout down Attorney General Sessions and I thought it was way out of bounds".

The testimony by Sessions marked the latest chapter in a saga that has dogged the Republican Trump's first five months as president and distracted from his domestic policy agenda including major healthcare and tax cut initiatives.

He disputed that his involvement in Comey's firing violated the recusal.

Last week, she was trying to get a "yes or no" answer from Rosenstein on whether he'd reinstate a Bush-era special prosecutor policy that would ensure that President Trump couldn't fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

Sessions was talked into a corner a few times when it came to the actual legal basis for the argument, by Sen.

Senators questioned Sessions on his encounters with Russian ambassadors, why Comey was sacked, and if Russia colluded with Trump's campaign.

The attorney general could also face questions about whether he met Kislyak on a third occasion.

The questions - and how they were asked - largely fit the increasingly partisan contours of an investigation that has hovered over the Trump presidency.

While no new bombshell details emerged from the Sessions testimony Tuesday, there were a number of threads and themes that are sure to crop up again as hearings continue on Russian election meddling.

The attorney general went on to say that Comey's announcement in July 2016 that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would not be recommending charges in the Clinton case was a "usurpation" and a "stunning development", and that it showed "a lack of discipline".

"A very simple question that should be asked is: Did Donald Trump or any of his associates in the campaign collude with Russian Federation in hacking those emails and releasing them to the public?"

Sessions said that he was not sure what was "explicitly" in Trump's mind when he made a decision to fire Comey.

  • Larry Hoffman