Jeff Sessions denies 'false and scurrilous allegations'

Testifying at a Senate hearing, Mr Sessions said it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest that he was aware of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied on Tuesday that he had any undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador or conversations with Russian officials about the US elections. Mr Comey said the president then leaned on him to halt an investigation into one of his top aides, former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

"I am not able to discuss with you or confirm or deny the nature of private conversations that I may have had with the president on this subject or others", Sessions said. "And I don't even read that".

"Why did you sign the letter recommending the firing of Director Comey when it violated your recusal?"

Sessions, a former Republican U.S. senator and an early supporter of Trump's presidential campaign, appeared before the committee just five days after Comey told the panel Trump ousted him to undermine the agency's investigation of the Russian Federation matter. "It would be a communication that he has not waived", Mr. Sessions said.

Heinrich asked Sessions if Trump expressed frustration with him over his decision to recuse himself from any involvement in the Russian Federation investigation, as has been reported in recent weeks.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, appearing at a high-stakes Senate hearing, on Tuesday denounced as "an appalling and detestable lie" the idea that he colluded with Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

SESSIONS: And I made an honest and proper decision to recuse myself as I told Sen. Sessions ultimately stepped away from all matters related to the presidential campaign in March. Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Al Franken of Minnesota had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation early previous year to review the possible third meeting with Kislyak.

Sessions in prior testimony said that he would not answer some questions in order to protect the possibility that the president might assert his executive privilege in the future.

Sessions may also have to answer for what role, if any, he played in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., told Sessions the panel wants him to "clear up those discrepancies" in regard to a reported third meeting between him and Russia's ambassador to the United States. "I will defend the integrity of that investigation". In addition to his testimony, the fate of special counsel Robert Mueller is also in the air. Angus King, I-Maine, Sessions declined to say whether he believes Russian Federation attempted interfere in last year's election.

However, Sessions said Comey should have spoken to his bosses if he wanted to or was asked to talk to the president about the investigation. Charles Schumer of NY, the Senate's top Democrat. "To get into a hypothetical at this point would be premature". Sessions reportedly offered to resign in wake of the president's criticism.

When senators on Tuesday asked Mr. Sessions if he had discussed the Russian Federation investigation or Mr. Comey's firing with Mr. Trump, Mr. Sessions refused to say.

"You are obstructing [a] Congressional investigation", Heinrich said.

Sessions, a former Republican US senator and an early supporter of Trump's presidential campaign, is expected to be asked to explain why he told senators in January that he had no dealings with Russian officials previous year while serving as an adviser to candidate Trump.

Sessions supported President Trump on the campaign trail, and previously acknowledged two meetings with the Russian ambassador during the course of the campaign. Mr Trump has suggested there might be tapes of his encounters with Mr Comey. "I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document", the ex-FBI director testified.

Another memorable moment during Wyden's questioning came right before the "smell test" comment when Wyden talked about Comey's testimony that Sessions was recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation for a variety of reasons. "And when asked I said that to the president".

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