Sessions denies third meeting with Russian Federation envoy

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017.

"I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election", the Trump's top lawyer said.

"Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign. And when asked I said that to the president". He vowed to defend his honor "against scurrilous and false allegations".

It was the dramatic start to Sessions' much-anticipated sworn appearance before the committee.

But the majority of the responses from Sessions went around in circles, and some on the committee grew clearly frustrated.

Sessions said he recused himself from the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation only because of a regulation to require the step because of his involvement in the Trump campaign.

"Why don't you tell me", Sessions fired back, "There are none Senator Wyden, there are none!"

SESSIONS: No, I don't believe I ever did.

Rosenstein was probably referring to the possibility that Mueller would investigate whether Sessions violated his recusal or whether Comey's firing might have been an effort to obstruct justice.

Wyden retorted, "That answer, in my view, doesn't pass the smell test".

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he never had conversations with former FBI Director James Comey about his job performance before Mr Comey's firing.

"Well, Sen. Wyden, he did not say that", Sessions said.

Mr Sessions told committee members he could not speak about his discussions with the President concerning Mr Comey, as they were covered under executive privilege.

But he denied holding a third meeting, and he dismissed suggestions from some members of Congress and other officials that there was anything improper in his interactions with Russian officials.

I dunno. It sure seems like the kind of thing the president of the United States ought to be upset about. "It's something that we both agreed to that a fresh start at the Federal Bureau of Investigation was probably the best thing", Sessions said of his conversations with Rosenstein regarding replacing the Federal Bureau of Investigation director before Comey was sacked. But his very public handling of the Clinton email investigation was chief among them. Comey's testimony was full of interesting revelations but did not lead to any smoking gun concerning Donald Trump's campaign and communications with the Russians.

On another issue, Sen Marco Rubio, asked Mr Sessions whether Mr Trump records his conversations in the White House.

The hearing will bring contentious questioning for Sessions and likely some uncomfortable moments for the Trump administration.

How did Trump feel about Sessions appearing before the panel?

"Well, some of that leaked out of the committee that he said in closed session", Sessions said.

Sessions is the first USA senator to show public support for Trump's campaign.

Blunt said, "What I remember (Comey) saying was that you didn't react at all and kind of shrugged". The President told NBC News' Lester Holt he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing". He had told lawmakers at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

The former Republican U.S. senator from Alabama, one of Trump's most avid supporters on the campaign trail, will likely have to explain why he told lawmakers in January he had no dealings with Kremlin officials previous year.

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