Sessions vows to defend himself against 'false allegations'

He vowed to defend his honor "against scurrilous and false allegations".

In a February meeting, Comey said, Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before asking him to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

CNN previously reported that congressional investigators are examining whether Sessions had an additional private meeting with the Russian ambassador in April 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

Senators will challenge Sessions on issues raised by Comey's testimony, about his own behavior, new questions about his meetings with Russian officials and possibly his apparently tense relations with Trump. "I am unable to answer these questions", Sessions said.

In the gaggle on Air Force One on Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders said the President wasn't able to watch "much of it", but from "what he did see and what he heard, he thought that attorney general Sessions did a very good job and in particular was very strong on the point that there was no collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign". He never, he insisted, knew anything about the Russian Federation probe or had any role in it.

As Trump once claimed, Comey reassured him repeatedly that he, himself, was not under investigation at the time. "But this is the reason I recused myself". He said that was a longtime policy at the Department of Justice.

In March, Sessions recused himself from any investigations into Russia's actions in the 2016 campaign.

He did not, at that time, tell me any details about anything that was said that was improper. There are none, Sen. "There are none, Sen Wyden, there are none", Mr Sessions insisted, his voice rising. "This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it".

"Well, I guess I'm concerned about your recollection, really, because it's not that long ago", Sessions said.

"But, in fact, it appears he did it without her approval, totally, and that is a pretty stunning thing", Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday.

Rosenstein said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify. Mueller also won votes of support Tuesday from the top two Republicans in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, both of whom said they have confidence in him.

"I am not stonewalling", Sessions said.

When asked if he has had any other meetings with Russian officials, Sessions said: "I have wracked my brain and I do not believe so". "I'm not sure what was in his mind specifically".

Cooper asked Wyden point blank if he believed Sessions was involved in collusion or wrongdoing and Wyden would only say that he meant to follow up on his previous questions from the hearing.

Keeping with the Trump administration's anti-immigration agenda, Sessions has also urged federal prosecutors to intensify their focus on immigration crimes such as illegal border crossing or smuggling others into the U.S. And he has threatened to withhold coveted grant money from localities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities as they try to detain and deport people.

Sessions testified that Trump never asserted the privilege instructing him not to be as forthcoming as possible, but that his priority was "protecting the president's constitutional right" to withhold certain information if Trump needed to down the road.

Asked about media reports that he had met with Kislyak on a third occasion at a Washington hotel a year ago, Sessions testified that did not remember meeting or having a conversation with the ambassador at the event.

Comey testified in a private session about classified matters he couldn't discuss in public.

Democratic senators expressed frustration with Sessions on several occasions, urging him to be more forthcoming. Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont have sought an FBI investigation and have requested to be briefed on what the bureau knows about any such encounter.

On another hot-button issue, Sen. The request came, according to Comey, after a February 14 Oval Office meeting in which Comey alleges the president asked everyone, including Sessions to leave the room.

Mr Comey had also said that Mr Sessions had lingered in the Oval Office following a group meeting, just before the private encounter during which he has said the president asked him to pull back on his investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. When Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia asked if Trump had used his executive privilege - referring to a constitutional doctrine that allows the president to shield his confidential communications - regarding Session's testimony, he said the president had not.

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