Alabama delegation reacts to Jeff Sessions testimony on Russian Federation

"I basically recused myself the first day I got into the office because I never accessed files, I never learned the names of investigators, I never met with them, I never asked for any documentation", Sessions told Wyden.

After admitting Mr Trump had not invoked privilege, Mr Sessions was accused of "stonewalling" by Democratic senator Ron Wyden.

"I think so", Sessions responded.

Later, Sessions directly blasted Comey for his testimony in private last week, "This is a secret innuendo out there being leaked about me - and I don't appreciate it".

Sessions insisted he stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation because he was a principal adviser to the Trump campaign, not because he did something wrong or was a subject of the probe.

Asked to explain his decision, the attorney general said he believed he had to recuse himself under Department of Justice rules.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel on Russian Federation issues last month.

Press reports had suggested that the meeting might have occurred at a Russia-friendly foreign policy speech given by then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMayor takes down town hall's portraits of Trump and Pence Kucinich: "A co-equal branch Tillerson defends State dept. cuts, says America is "leaning in" MORE at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington in 2016". Sessions did not say he committed to raising the issue with Trump or making sure the president was aware of the rules around communications between Trump and DOJ. While Sessions' hearing didn't enjoy the same hype as Comey's - last Thursday was coined "Comey Day" by Washingtonians - it was no less important for both sides of the aisle.

Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation. "I am asking when you knew that you'd be asked these questions and would be relying on that policy, did you not ask your staff to show you the policy that would be the basis for you refusing to answer the majority of the questions that have been asked of you?"

The attorney general could also face questions about whether he met Kislyak on a third occasion.

On the date of my formal recusal, my Chief of Staff sent an email to the heads of the relevant departments, including by name to Director Comey of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to instruct them to inform their staffs of this recusal and to advise them not to brief me or involve me in any such matters. Sessions said of that moment: "He was concerned about it, and his recollection of what he said to me about this concern is consistent with my recollection". Richard Blumenthal revived calls for Sessions to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and "answer questions he's dodging today".

Sessions said it would be "inappropriate" for him to reveal private conversations with Trump when the president "has not had a full opportunity to review the questions and to make a decision on whether or not to approve such an answer".

Sessions testified Tuesday that he recused himself from the current Russian Federation investigation only because of a regulation that required it because of his involvement in the Trump campaign.

In his public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee this afternoon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions provided new details about his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation. It's just, like, through the looking-glass.

Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who has frequently supported Trump and worked with Sessions when he was in the Senate, offered him a hand, painting a comical portrait of an alleged spy scheme.

"While the President has the right to, he has no intention to do so".

"I do not", Sessions said when asked whether he knows whether the president records his conversations.

Sessions was adamant that he did not have a private meeting with Kislyak at that event. Angus King (I-ME).

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