Attorney General Jeff Sessions denies 'false and scurrilous allegations'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a Senate committee Tuesday that any suggestion he colluded with Russian Federation during last year's USA presidential campaign was an "appalling and detestable lie". In his testimony today before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sessions - the U.S.'s chief law enforcement officer - told Sen. Stewart did not concede immediately, and said "there's one word you will never hear from me and that's 'unity.' Because look, folks, we've been backing down too long.in defense of our culture, our heritage, and our country". "You are impeding this investigation".

"That's my judgment that it would be inappropriate for me to answer and reveal private conversations with the president when he has not had a full opportunity to review the questions and to make a decision on whether or not to approve such an answer", Sessions said. 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.

Sessions repeatedly refused to discuss private conversations with Trump on a wide variety of topics. - Sen. Ron Wyden to Sessions.

"Do you concur with the president that he was going to fire Comey regardless of recommendation, because the problem was the Russian investigation?" Sen.

"No. Yes, I do", Sessions admitted.

Sessions corroborated Comey's account, but he said he saw "nothing improper" for the president to meet alone with the Federal Bureau of Investigation director and that he advised him to follow Department of Justice protocols in communicating with the White House and the president. Unable to shake anything out of the trees, Democrats vented much of their frustration at the Attorney General, saying that Sessions had no basis to refuse to answer questions from Senators.

Asked by Republican Senator Marco Rubio about a February 14 Oval Office with Trump, Sessions responded, "That's a communication in the White House that I'd not comment on".

No one watching the hearing could fail to be impressed by the Attorney General's candor, by his willingness to open himself up and answer all of the charges directed his way.

Sessions is likely to be asked about his conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and whether there were more encounters that should have been made public.

United States intelligence agencies concluded in a report released in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to interfere in the election to help Trump in part by hacking and releasing damaging emails about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Senator Mark Warner, Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said questions have been raised about some of his own interactions with Russian officials during the campaign.

"I do not" Sessions said when asked whether he knows whether the president records his conversations.

"Many have suggested that my recusal is because I felt I was a subject of the investigation myself, that I may have done something wrong", he said, stressing this was not the case.

Sessions is the most senior member of Trump's administration caught up in the Russian Federation controversy. Sessions said: "It did not violate my recusal".

Testifying at a Senate hearing, Mr Sessions said it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest that he was aware of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

After that meeting, Comey said, he told Sessions he did not want to be left alone with Trump, because he didn't think it was appropriate for the president and the Federal Bureau of Investigation director to have such private meetings.

"I think your silence, like the silence of Director Coats, like the silence of Admiral Rogers, speaks volumes", said Sen. 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. The White House's official line said Trump terminated Comey because of a critical memo that Rosenstein wrote about the way Comey handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email account while secretary of state.

The attorney general has acknowledged two meetings past year with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. Trump has suggested there might be tapes of his encounters with Comey; Comey said last week that "lordy" he hopes there are.

And while he had recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, Sessions insisted, "I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations". "Those were lies, plain and simple", Comey said. There was a suggestion that there may have been a third meeting that he never disclosed.

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