Sessions: 'I Have No Idea' If Trump Has Confidence In Robert Mueller

North Korea has released detained American student Otto Warmbier

North Korea has released detained American student Otto Warmbier

Sessions told the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday he was not silent, saying he stressed to Comey the need to be careful about following appropriate policies.

Sessions, a close campaign adviser to Trump and the first senator to endorse him, stepped aside from the investigation in early March after acknowledging he had spoken twice in the months before the election with the Russian ambassador.

Senators are expected to hone in on Comey's recounting of a February 14 White House meeting where Trump pressed the director to drop the FBI's inquiry into national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Former FBI Director James Comey told senators in a closed-door briefing last week, however, that United States intelligence officials had picked up conversations between Sessions and other Russian officials discussing their meeting with Kislyak at the Mayflower last April.

"We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make (Sessions') continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic, " Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Trump campaign-Russia investigation.

The committee is also asking him whether he met privately with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at an April 2016 foreign policy event at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

Sessions was adamant that he did not have a private meeting with Kislyak at that event.

Justice officials have strongly denied that such a meeting occurred.

Sessions said he recused himself from the Justice Department's current Russian Federation investigation only because of a regulation that required it because of his involvement in the Trump campaign.

Sessions refused to say whether he had ever discussed the Russian Federation investigation with Trump, arguing that he could not disclose private communications with the president.

"I have known Mr. Mueller over the years, he served 12 years as Federal Bureau of Investigation director". Charles Schumer of NY, the Senate's top Democrat.

Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, started tweeting shortly after Sessions' opening statements Tuesday afternoon.

In addition, Comey has said Sessions did not respond when he complained that he did not want to be left alone with Trump again. "To get into a hypothetical at this point would be premature".

Sessions, a top Trump campaign surrogate, recused himself from the FBI's Russian Federation investigation in March, a day after The Washington Post reported that he had had at least two undisclosed meetings with Kislyak during the election - once during the Republican National Convention and again in his office in September.

As news of his testimony broke, Sessions attended a Cabinet meeting with Trump at the White House. Some Democrats said Trump's actions could amount to an obstruction of justice. Trump has suggested there might be tapes of his encounters with Comey; Comey said last week that "lordy" he hopes there are. The president said he is willing to testify under oath on these points.

"I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible", Trump tweeted over the weekend. "Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'"

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