Jeff Sessions mum on Comey, denies Russian Federation link

However, in his opening remarks Tuesday, Sessions said he did not disclose two meetings with Kislyak because he was responding to Franken's "rambling question".

"He did take an oath to answer questions", said Cooper.

"Any suggestion I participated in, or was aware of, collusion with the Russians is an appalling and detestable lie". "It is something that I adhere to", Sessions said. "I may have had an encounter" with Ambassador Kislyak at a District of Columbia hotel in April 2016, Sessions allowed.

Responding to questions about the firing of Mr Comey, Mr Sessions said he never informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief of concerns about his job performance, which the administration cited in his dismissal.

"It would be premature for me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice about executive privilege", he said. Wyden wanted to know what those reasons were, and Jeff Sessions lost his cool and had a mini freak out. Kamala Harris was cut off by her Republican colleagues while posing questions at a Senate intelligence committee hearing. Sessions continued to argue on Tuesday that his recusal was due to his "principal adviser" role in Trump's campaign and not his contact with Russian officials.

The Attorney-General, for his part, emphatically denied he had conspired with the Kremlin in its campaign to tip the election toward Mr. Trump by leaking embarrassing Democratic party e-mails.

"I think I described it more completely, correctly", Sessions said.

The Justice Department has responded, citing the need to follow "appropriate policies regarding contacts with the White House".

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When asked to explain why he wrongly claimed in his confirmation hearing that he never met with Russians, Sessions said he was flustered by the question from Sen.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Trump flew back from Milwaukee today that he watched parts of the hearing, "thought that Attorney General Sessions did a very good job and, in particular, was very strong on the point that there was no collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign".

Sessions says the president was not asserting executive privilege and that Sessions was simply protecting Trump's right to do so if he chooses.

Sessions says he recommended Comey's firing after a number of concerns about his job performance.

Despite Sessions' statement about the reasons for his recusal, the attorney general did not actually step aside from the Russia probe until March 2, the day after The Washington Post reported on his two previously undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

"I want to go back to February 14 and close the loop on the details", Rubio said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified Tuesday that he never told former FBI Director James Comey there were any issues with how the bureau was run before Comey was sacked. "It certainly doesn't seem like a sinister interaction, as far as we can tell".

Earlier, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked Sessions why, after recusing himself from the Russian Federation inquiry, he signed a letter last month recommending that President Trump fire Comey.

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