Jeff Sessions Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee

Mr Sessions' comments come during his testimony to the Senate intelligence committee, which is investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible links with US President Donald Trump's campaign.

"And when asked I said that to the president".

Sessions, a close Trump adviser during the battle for the presidency, said in his opening statement that it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest he was aware of or participated in any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Sessions refused to say whether he had discussed Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's handling of the FBI's Russian Federation probe with Trump before the president fired Comey on May 9.

"I took it as a concern that he might be asked something that was improper", Sessions said, adding that he told Comey to follow Justice Department policy regarding interactions with White House officials.

Sessions told Congress during his confirmation hearing he had no contacts with Russian officials previous year, but he later had to admit he met with Kislyak on two other occasions, according to the New York Times.

The Attorney-General also refused to discuss reports that Mr. Trump was angry at him for recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation, as this led to the probe ultimately getting taken over by an independent prosecutor. But his former Democratic colleagues pressed him repeatedly on 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. "Although a lot of people at the convention, it's conceivable", Sessions replied.

"At all times throughout the course of the campaign, the confirmation process, and since becoming Attorney General, I have dedicated myself to the highest standards".

At his confirmation hearing on 10 January, Sessions told the Senate: "I did not have communications with the Russians", a claim that was later proved untrue when the Washington Post revealed he had had two meetings with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the campaign.

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Trump could decide whether to invoke his executive privilege, and on which conversations he had, and Sessions could then be asked to testify again. Harris asked of Sessions' assertion that he wouldn't discuss private conversations with the president. "I can tell you that for absolute certainty". There are none, Sen.

Pressed on what those matters were, Sessions raised his voice and fired back.

Any suggestion to the contrary, he said, was "an appalling and detestable lie" and "secret innuendo". "I have confidence in Mr. Mueller", he said.

"It's just like through the looking glass", the attorney general said after thanking Cotton.

He said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify.

The nation's top law enforcement official - who has recused himself from all ongoing Russian Federation investigations - has himself become a focal point in congressional probes into the allegations of election meddling, in possible collusion with Trump's team, that have dogged the young administration.

Sessions said he agreed with firing Comey, and said he thought that before deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein recommended he be fired.

"I believe it was the next day that [Comey] said something, expressed concern, about being left alone with the president", Sessions said. "It's not only highly unusual, but I'm not sure it's appropriate", Mr. Cramer, a security and business consultant with Berkeley Research Group, said in an interview. Sessions requested an open hearing, though he made clear in his opening remarks and several times during his testimony that there were some things he would not discuss, including confidential conversations with the president. Marco Rubio tried to pry specifics of that meeting from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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