Sessions says he was never briefed on Russian interference

Sessions later stressed he did not feel it was appropriate to disclose the nature of conversations that were potentially subject to the president's executive privilege (which Trump has not yet exercised).

But he says he does not recall any private meetings or conversations with Russian officials at that event. "I have no knowledge of any conversations held along those lines by anybody in the Trump campaign". "I recused myself from any investigation into" alleged Russian meddling in the presidential campaign.

Testifying at a Senate hearing, Mr Sessions said it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest that he was aware of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. After then-president Barrack Obama retaliated against Russian Federation with a series of sanctions, Sessions said he doesn't "recall any such conversations" on sanctions. She thought the Attorney General shouldn't have been involved in the FBI Director's termination.

Visibly frustrated, Sessions shot back "why don't you tell me?"

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

"I don't recall it", Sessions said. "You don't walk into any hearing or any committee meeting and reveal confidential communications with the president of the United States". I am concerned that the president still does not recognize the severity of the threat.

Before he became attorney general, Sessions served two decades as a Republican senator from Alabama. Al Franken, D-Minn., about contacts with Russian officials that led to his recusal from the bureau's Russia probe. US officials have said since December that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 election so President Donald Trump could win.

He flatly denied recent reports that he had had a third meeting with Kislyak in Washington's Mayflower hotel in April 2016.

Insisting again that he had no improper contacts with the Russian, Sessions said at the time he was stepping aside from this mater because of his involvement in the Trump campaign.

In his testimony last week, Comey said he and Trump had a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office on February 14 about the investigation into the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Sessions won't describe his conversations with President Donald Trump about the firing of FBI Director James Comey. "I hope you can let this go".

As Mr Trump tried to shoo everyone out to talk alone with Mr Comey, Mr Sessions lingered, in Comey's account.

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".

James Comey and Jeff Sessions.

"I am not stonewalling", Sessions said. "But that in itself is not problematic".

"My understanding is that you took an oath, you raised your right hand today and said you would solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".

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. When he recommended Comey's firing to Trump, he cited the letter by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

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