7 takeaways from Jeff Sessions testimony

And Sessions also did not give a solid answer about why he didn't ask more questions of Comey when Comey complained to him this year about pressure from Donald Trump. "Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected with the Trump campaign".

"The suggestion that I participated with any collusion, that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country.is an appalling and detestable lie".

Lawmakers will also press Sessions about aspects of Comey's testimony last week. Five days after questions were raised by former FBI Director James Comey, the Attorney General defended his decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, denied that he had been involved in any wrongdoing, and pushed back against his former Democratic colleagues in the Senate.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions can expect pointed questions from his former Senate colleagues Tuesday afternoon when he testifies before the same committee that last week hosted James Comey, the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

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.

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

A presidential spokeswoman responded with a qualified endorsement Tuesday: "While the president has the right to (fire Robert Mueller), he has no intention to do so", Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in response to a reporter's question.

Sessions answered, "I don't recall it".

Sessions said he agreed with firing Comey, and said he thought that before deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein recommended he be fired.

Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation. A friend of Trump's said Monday that the President was considering taking just such a step. Sessions also would not say anything about any conversations he had with Trump regarding the Russian Federation investigation.

"I think there's fairly good history that the Department of Justice resists revealing internal deliberations and discussions, whether it be investigations or policy, as a matter of separation of the executive from the legislative branch", he said. "I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice".

Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee, which is conducting a parallel Russian Federation probe, said on Twitter that Congress "must compel responses using whatever process necessary".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn in to testify before the. It was telling that after several appeals for Sessions to testify, Franken said that if the AG refuses he is going to appeal to Judiciary Committee Chairman and Ranking Member to compel him to testify.

SESSIONS: Thank you for saying that, Senator Cotton.

Sessions raised his voice in protest when asked what those reasons were. "I can tell you that for absolute certainty". Kamala Harris, D-Calif., both asked him to specify which Department of Justice rules protect conversations Sessions had with Trump without invoking executive privilege. "I responded to his comments by agreeing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policies regarding appropriate contact with the White House". He opened by asking the question which was central to the investigation but which, somehow, had not yet been asked.

But Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, later noted that there seemed "to be a short memory about statements that Eric Holder (former attorney general under President Barack Obama) did or did not make".

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