Sessions has fiery exchange with Democratic senator, denies 'stonewalling'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Officials said this was in an effort to show there's nothing to hide and nothing controversial about Sessions' interactions with Russian officials.

Last week, Comey testified that Trump asked everyone except him to leave the room before Trump allegedly said to him, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".

Later, Sessions was asked more pointedly by Sen. Expect him to try and invoke executive privilege to cover his conversations with Trump about Comey and try to cover his misdeeds. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., opened up his line of questioning with an accusation that Sessions was "stonewalling".

"Mr. Comey said there were matters with respect to the recusal that were problematic and he couldn't talk about them". I replied, "Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities". He described Mueller as operating independently from the Justice Department in his investigation.

The Justice Department has said Sessions recused himself in March because of his involvement in Trump's campaign, but in his dramatic appearance last Thursday, Comey said the Federal Bureau of Investigation knew of information that would have made it "problematic" for Sessions to be involved. In response to a King question about whether Sessions had sought information on the Russian Federation secret operation to undermine the election, Sessions remarked, "I know nothing but what I've read in the paper".

How did Trump feel about Sessions appearing before the panel?

And California Sen. Dianne Feinstein appeared puzzled by Sessions' reasoning for not providing more details. Sessions had written a letter to Trump recommending Comey's firing.

The president and aides noted that Comey testified that he told Trump three times he was not personally under investigation over Russian contacts. "Since you discussed his removal, why wouldn't you discuss the reasons?"

Until a statement yesterday from committee Chairman Richard Burr, it had been unclear whether Mr Sessions would testify in an open or closed setting.

The hearing will also be streamed live on the Senate intelligence committee's website.

Sessions' decision to recuse himself reportedly made President Donald Trump so angry that the AG offered his resignation. I was sworn in as Attorney General on Thursday, February 9th.

"I did not have any private meetings, nor do I recall any private conversations, with any Russian officials at the Mayflower hotel", Sessions said.

"Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign", Sessions said.

It comes as political intrigue pulses through the United States capital following explosive testimony by Comey before the same panel last week, and as Trump has expressed frustrations with Sessions, one of his earliest high-profile campaign backers. Al Franken (D-MN) asked him a question about a now discredited CNN report about a dossier containing allegations that the Russians had incriminating information on Trump. But Democrats on the Senate panel are likely to press him on issues such as his contacts with Russian Federation and his role in the dismissal of Comey - who led the FBI's probe on Russian Federation until he was ousted.

Rumors have since circulated that the president may seek to sack special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed to head the high-stakes investigation following Comey's ouster. A friend of Trump's said Monday that the President was considering taking just such a step.

Spicer, the spokesman, declined to say then that Sessions enjoyed Trump's confidence, though spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later in the week that the president had confidence "in all of his Cabinet".

The attorney general is sure to be asked about those meetings, as well as media reports that Sessions may have held a third meeting with Russian government officials before taking office.

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