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Sessions says he was never briefed on Russian interference

But Sessions on Tuesday declined to divulge much information about Comey's firing beyond what was already publicly known. Martin Heinrich (D-NM). But Democrats got nowhere with their protests, as they tried to pin down Sessions on whether he was invoking executive privilege (he was not), or what legal reasoning he was using to not answer.

Sessions on Saturday said he would appear before the intelligence committee, which has been doing its own investigation into Russian contacts with the Trump campaign.

Sessions became visibly angry when asked about former FBI Director James Comey's testimony last week that aspects of the attorney general's recusal were problematic.

He also said he was unaware of any other undisclosed conversations between members of Mr. Trump's circle and Russian officials.

King noted that Sessions publicly testified about the administration's original justification for firing Comey - that he mishandled last year's probe into Hillary Clinton's private email server - but refused to discuss whether the Russian Federation probe was also a consideration.

Here's what we learned from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Comey referred frequently to the attorney general and included the tantalizing tidbit that there were "facts that I can't discuss in an open setting".

But the majority of the responses from Sessions went around in circles, and some on the committee grew clearly frustrated. Ron Wyden chose to stop tiptoeing around the hard facts. "Americans don't want to hear that answers to relevant questions are privileged or off limits". As the two spoke over one another in a tense exchange, Sessions told Harris, "I'm not able to be rushed this fast".

Instead he maintained that he was "not stonewalling", but "following the historic policies of the Department of Justice". "And when asked, I said that to the president".

US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions could not have been any clearer on his position on the issue of collusion.

The attorney general defended himself - at times fervently - when asked about this testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey.

In March he acknowledged he met twice a year ago with Russia's ambassador to Washington, Sergei Kislyak.

Though the Justice Department maintains that it has fully disclosed the extent of Sessions' foreign contacts past year, lawmakers have continued to press him for answers about an April 2016 event at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where both Sessions and Kislyak attended a foreign policy speech by Trump. Asked whether he would ever take any action to remove Mueller, Sessions said, "I would not think that would be appropriate for me to do".

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.

But: Sessions also said he thought Comey should be fired.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King grilled Sessions over his refusal to discuss whether President Donald Trump had discussed the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the election prior to his decision last month to fire Comey. The FBI is part of the Justice Department that Sessions heads.

Sessions sidestepped several questions from senators, particularly questions about his private conversations with President Donald Trump. If I don't qualify, you'll accuse me of lying.



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