Attorney General Jeff Sessions Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee

She then brought up the president's interview with NBC Nightly News, in which Trump acknowledged that Comey's dismissal was related to the Russian Federation probe. The intelligence community seems to be united in that, but I have to tell you, Senator King, I know nothing but what I've read in the paper. "You either answer the question under oath, or you invoke executive privilege".

Former FBI boss James Comey was sacked by the President over a "lack of discipline", USA attorney general Jeff Sessions has claimed.

Sessions recused himself in March from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice a year ago with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

In light of his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation, he said that he does not receive briefings on the investigation and does not have any more information than what is publicly reported and said he doesn't read that information closely.

In his testimony last week, Mr Comey accused the White House of lying about him and the FBI and repeatedly said he believed he was sacked because of the agency's investigation into Trump-Russia ties.

Comey suggested this indicated the attorney general's awareness that it was improper for Trump and Comey to meet alone together, given the specter of the Department of Justice's investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible ties with the Trump campaign.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden told Sessions, "I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling".

But Sessions says Comey should have relayed his concerns to Dana Boente, who was then acting as deputy attorney general and Comey's direct supervisor.

It's a tactic Price sees as a sign of misplaced priorities: "You can add Sessions to the growing list of officials in this administration who are protecting and defending the president, not the U.S. Constitution", he said.

In part that's because Sessions answered numerous questions he was asked with a variation of "I don't recall" or "I don't think so".

Democratic Sen Ron Wyden of OR asked Mr Sessions about suggestions arising from Mr Comey's testimony last week that there was something "problematic" about his recusal.

"I'm not claiming executive privilege because that's the president's power and I have no power there", Sessions admitted to the committee's vice chairman, Sen.

But he says he does not recall any private meetings or conversations with Russian officials at that event. A few even cut off Sessions mid-answer in order to get a proper response.

"I have never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election", stated Sessions, according to Los Angeles Times.

"Sen. Wyden, I am not stonewall (ing)", Sessions said. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked Sessions whether Trump records his conversations in the White House.

But Republicans often came to Sessions' defense, reiterating that Comey's firing had to do with his handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, not Russian Federation, and calling attention to illegal information leaks within the government.

But Sessions said that despite his sense of problems at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he never raised that with Comey.

Sessions, a senior member of Trump's Cabinet and an adviser to his election campaign a year ago, had a series of tense exchanges with Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee during about 2-1/2 hours of testimony as they pressed him to recount discussions with the Republican president.

In May, Trump told NBC News that he was contemplating "this Russian Federation thing" ahead of Comey's firing.

Days after that, Mr Sessions also corrected his confirmation hearing testimony to inform the committee about the two meetings with Mr Kislyak. Sessions reiterated Tuesday those meetings were in his capacity as a lawmaker and not about the campaign.

The abrupt dismissal of Comey prompted Trump's critics to charge that the president was trying to interfere with a criminal investigation.

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