5 things we learned at Jeff Sessions' hearing

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that former FBI Director James Comey's meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office was "not problematic".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions looks through papers prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

"This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it", Sessions said, raising his voice.

"You are not answering questions. You're impeding this investigation".

Sanders confirmed that the President did interview Robert Mueller as a candidate for FBI director the day before he was named special counsel of the federal investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian Federation ties.

Why? Because he personally recused himself from all things related to the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation the day after he was sworn into office. Sessions previously offered to resign because of tensions with Trump over his recusal decision.

Committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina laid out questions that he wanted addressed, including Sessions' meetings with Russian officials or proxies while working for the Trump campaign or as Attorney General.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a report released in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to interfere in the election to help Trump in part by hacking and releasing damaging emails about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Rubio asked Sessions about the changes that were mysteriously made to the Republican platform with respect to Ukraine, a key element of suspicion in the Russian Federation matter.

"You are obstructing that congressional investigation by not answering these questions". "As such, I have no knowledge about this investigation as it is ongoing today beyond what has been publicly reported", Sessions said.

During this week's hearing, Sessions repeatedly explained his repeated non-disclosures by citing what he called a long-standing Department of Justice policy. He also said that Comey had later told him he was concerned about the meeting, but he did not say that something improper occurred.

However, in talking about Comey's July remarks last October, Sessions had then said, "I didn't like the meeting that you mentioned on the airplane that put Comey in a position that he had to make this announcement". He did not claim executive privilege, but he did say that by not answering questions he was protecting the President's right to later invoke executive privilege "if he chooses". Sessions argued that in the context of the hearing, "my answer was a fair and correct response to the charge as I understood it".

American intelligence agencies believe that Russian hackers were directed by the Kremlin to try to sway the presidential election in Trump's favour.

"I did not have any private meetings nor recall any private conversations with any Russian official at the Mayflower Hotel", Sessions told the Senate intelligence committee. Testifying at a Senate hearing, Sessions said it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest that he participated in or was aware of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Sklansky: I think he probably raised his stock with President Trump and his close circle, but I doubt he won over any skeptics.

And California Sen. Dianne Feinstein appeared puzzled by Sessions' reasoning for not providing more details.

Sessions also testified that he had never had any meetings with officials from Russian Federation or anywhere else about interference in the United States election. What happened when Sessions left the room, and Trump allegedly pressed Comey to end an investigation?

Sessions testified that he met with a "senior ethics official" at the Department of Justice the day after he was sworn in as attorney general.

Sessions, who had already said that the speed of Harris's questioning made him nervous, blathered on about the principle-because he didn't seem to actually know a real policy or precedent to allow him to refuse to answer questions-until Harris's time was up.

In a combative and emotional Senate hearing, Sessions beseeched his former Senate colleagues to believe him when he said he did not hold a meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a speech by then-candidate Donald Trump at the Mayflower hotel past year. Sessions had written a letter to Trump recommending Comey's firing.

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