2nd LD: US Attorney General calls Russian Federation collusion accusation "detestable lie"

Alvin Kelly
June 14, 2017

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Lawmakers for weeks have demanded answers from Sessions, particularly about meetings he had last summer and fall with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

After Sessions referred to a Justice Department policy that compelled him to refuse to disclose communications between himself and the president until Trump had waived executive privilege, Harris pressed him.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions blasted his critics during heated testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

President Donald Trump smiles during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.

Wyden then attempted to shift away after the outburst, but Sessions pulled him back in for a sharp counter-punch. "This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it".

"I know how this will be discussed, but that's the rule that's been long adhered to by Department of Justice, as you know, Sen".

Sessions told the senators that he has confidence in Mueller but said he had "no idea" if Trump did because he had not spoken to the president about the matter.

Mr Wyden asked Mr Sessions what problematic issues existed.

"I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election", the Trump's top lawyer said.

Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation weeks later.

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Mr Comey had also said that Mr Sessions had lingered in the Oval Office following a group meeting, just before the private encounter during which he has said the president asked him to pull back on his investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Democrats were unhappy with Sessions declining to testify about his discussions with Trump, citing the longstanding policy.

As attorney general, Sessions is unlikely to answer in detail questions about conversations he's had with Trump.

Sessions denied any collusion with Russian Federation to meddle in the USA presidential election, saying the accusations are "scurrilous", "appalling", "detestable". Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the person who would be responsible for carrying out any such dismissal, told a different congressional panel on Tuesday he would not fire Mueller without good cause and he had seen no such cause.

During his testimony last week, Comey said he had notes of meetings with Trump in which the president asked him for a pledge of personal loyalty and to drop the Russian Federation investigation as it pertained to former national security adviser Flynn.

Sessions became visibly frustrated after Harris repeatedly interrupted him in an attempt to speed up his answers to her questions.

Days after that, Sessions also corrected his confirmation hearing testimony to inform the committee about his two meetings with Kislyak.

As for Comey's firing, Sessions told senators that his recommendation had nothing to do with the Russian Federation probe, that he and his second-in-command, Rosenstein, had a "clear view. that we had problems there, and it was my best judgment that a fresh start at the Federal Bureau of Investigation was the appropriate thing to do".

The testimony by Comey 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. King, I know nothing but what I've read in the paper. "And I have taken no action whatsoever with regard to any such investigation".

Would any such tapes have to be preserved? "Rubio, probably so", Sessions replied.

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