At hearing, attorney general denies improper Russia contacts

Eastern Michigan University Political Science professor Ed Sidlow says there were no fireworks like there were last week with former FBI Director James Comey over conversations with President Donald Trump that Comey believed were meant to have him stop further investigation into Russian interference in USA politics.

Jeff Sessions has heatedly denied that he had any undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador or conversations with Russian officials about the United States elections.

He also said Comey should have shared his concerns about the Trump conversation with another Justice Department official, Dana Boente, who was then acting deputy attorney general, and would have been Comey's direct supervisor.

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. He also said being rushed "makes me nervous".

Sessions adamantly maintained he was not, but insisted that he was following the "historic polices" of the Justice Department.

While he had recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, Mr Sessions said: "I did not recuse myself from defending my honour against scurrilous and false allegations".

He has acknowledged two meetings past year with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak. Days after that, Sessions also corrected his confirmation hearing testimony to inform the committee about his two meetings with Kislyak.

He said the intelligence agency needed a "fresh start" as it had "problems", adding that Mr Comey had caused "controversy on both sides of the aisle". They are none, Senator Wyden.

Harris followed up, "Sir, I am not asking about you the principle". This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me. John McCain to interrupt Harris, as he had last week, and say the witness should be allowed to answer.

At an earlier hearing Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, overseeing that effort since Sessions stepped aside, said he's seen no basis for firing Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director he appointed as special counsel.

The Attorney-General cited what he claimed was a Justice Department policy to keep conversations with the President confidential, but critics say no such policy exists.

The Senate Intelligence Committee hearing is the latest step in multiple ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in last year's US presidential election and Trump's firing of another FBI chief, James Comey, who was heading the investigation into Russian meddling when Trump dismissed him a month ago. "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. During his opening statement, he made it clear that while he recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 presidential election he was there to defend himself.

King and other committee members challenged Sessions' justification for not answering specific questions, suggesting that either the president has asserted executive privilege or he hasn't.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat who grew up in Missouri and got a degree from the University of Missouri, took Sessions to task for doubting the appropriateness of revealing private conversations with the president.

"There has been some public reporting of a possible third meeting at the Mayflower Hotel on April 27th", said Sen. Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont have sought an FBI investigation.

On another hot-button issue, Sen.

Sessions is likely to be asked whether he played a role in Trump's decision to fire Comey.

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