Sessions: 'I Have Confidence in Mr. Mueller'

So, the Senate Intelligence Committee was interested in hearing from Sessions why he didn't feel that he violated his recusal in the Russian Federation investigation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a sweeping denial of any personal involvement in Russian interference in last year's presidential campaign on Tuesday, calling accusations that he even discussed such an effort with officials from that country an "appalling and detestable lie".

In his appearance before the Senate committee, Sessions appeared to contradict a contention Comey made during his hearing.

Sessions's testimony comes one day after National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers met behind closed doors with the intelligence committee, after last week saying he could not respond to some questions about the Russian Federation probe and Trump's alleged involvement in a public hearing.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he never had conversations with FBI Director James Comey about his job performance before Comey's firing.

Sessions is the first US senator to show public support for Trump's campaign.

However, Sessions could invoke executive privilege during his testimony depending on "the scope of the questions", the White House suggested on Monday.

Sessions went on to tell Wyden that he doesn't appreciate what the senator is implying about him.

The attorney general's testimony comes days after Comey told congressional investigators that FBI leaders expected Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation before the attorney general's March announcement, however, he declined to publicly say what led to that assessment.

Senators questioned Sessions on his encounters with Russian ambassadors, why Comey was sacked, and if Russia colluded with Trump's campaign.

Sessions is the highest-ranking official to be called to testify in the ongoing investigation into possible ties between Russian hackers who are believed to have meddled in last year's election and the Trump presidential campaign.

He said Comey's decision to announce the results of the investigation without Justice Department approval was "a stunning development" because "the FBI is the investigative team".

Mr Comey was sacked by the President, on Senator Sessions' recommendation, during the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.

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

Sessions arrived knowing he would likely be questioned about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak - including an alleged third private meeting with the diplomat at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016.

SESSIONS: Well, I think I probably could say that with confidence because I've recused from the investigation. "I came there not knowing he would be there", he said.

Sessions declined to comment on those reports, stating only that he had "confidence" in Mueller and that it would not be appropriate for him to fire the special counsel.

"I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are proper and appropriate orders", he said.

Comey "didn't recall this, but I responded to his comment by agreeing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policy regarding appropriate contacts with the White House", Sessions told the panel.

Comey responded, "That's a question I can't answer".

"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", Sessions added.

"What you're talking about is hacking into a private person or the DNC's computer and obtaining information and spreading that out, that's just not right", Sessions said.

"There is the assertion that I did not answer Senator Franken's question honestly at my confirmation hearing".

The key missing detail of the exchange between Comey and Trump: what was actually said during the February conversation.

Sessions was one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump and was then-candidate Trump's adviser on nearly every major decision and policy proposal pushed on the campaign trail. I knew him before that.

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