Jeff Sessions testifies before Senate

US President Donald Trump delivers a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington DC

US President Donald Trump delivers a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington DC

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions swears prior to testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington D.C., the United States, on June 13, 2017.

He denied that he had a third, undisclosed private one-on-one conversation with the Russian ambassador. He did allow for the possibility the men could have had a brief interaction "in passing" at a well-attended reception at the Mayflower Hotel before an April 2016 foreign policy speech by then-candidate Trump.

Blunt said, "What I remember (Comey) saying was that you didn't react at all and kind of shrugged".

He denied that he recused himself from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation because he wasn't forthcoming about Russian Federation meetings.

Warner cited reports that a friend of Trump's suggested that he was considering removing Mueller from the investigation.

In his dramatic appearance before former colleagues, Mr Sessions also contradicted a contention made by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey at a hearing before the same panel last week.

Sessions pushed back on several statements made by Comey in his testimony last week, including Comey's assertion that Sessions shrugged off his concerns about being left alone with Trump. Richard Blumenthal revived calls for Sessions to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and "answer questions he's dodging today". When asked by Sen.

Sessions said he had conversations regarding the "general strategic concept" that the US and Russian Federation could forge a more harmonious relationship. Comey discussed a host of issues surrounding Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, though his remarks also raised questions that were directed at Sessions on Tuesday.

He said the intelligence agency needed a "fresh start" as it had "problems", adding that Mr Comey had caused "controversy on both sides of the aisle". And he advised the president as much, mainly for the way Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

According to Comey, Trump said of Flynn: "He is a good guy". However, Sessions said Comey should have spoken to his bosses if he wanted to or was asked to talk to the president about the investigation.

Sessions hedged nearly all of his answers about whether/when he met with Russians, or why he was involved in firing Comey, or how he feels about the president's decisions, with: "I don't recall" or "I believe so" or "maybe". At one point, the normally soft-spoken Sessions tangled with Sen.

Comey also reportedly told lawmakers behind closed doors that one of those details included another unreported meeting between Sessions and the Russian ambassador.

Al Franken sounds like a man who is going to relentlessly pursue Sessions until he gets answers.

Testifying at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Sessions, who was a close Trump adviser during the battle for the presidency, said it is a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest that he participated in or was aware of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

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