Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Jeff Sessions: 'Absolutely False' He Communicated with Russians as Trump Campaign Surrogate

"It appears so, the intelligence community seems to be united in that", Sessions said Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in response to a question from Maine Senator Angus King about whether Russian Federation worked to influence the election. "This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it". "But I have to tell you Senator King, I know nothing but what I've read in the paper".

"I truly believe (cyber defense is) more important than I ever did before".

At one point, Sen.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to have his cake and eat it too when it came to his explanations during congressional testimony Tuesday for the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

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"I recused myself from any investigation into the campaigns for President, but I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations", Sessions said.

Comey, fired by Trump last month, said in congressional testimony last week that he gave a memo describing his conversations with Trump to a close friend and told him to share its contents with a reporter. Mueller was recently appointed to lead the investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation to influence the 2016 presidential election. At another, Sessions said: "Our Department of Justice rules on proper communications between the department and the White House have been in place for years". So how can you go from those statements to agreeing with Mr. Rosenstein and then asking the President, or recommending he be fired? "President, I can't talk about that.' That's the way that should work", Sessions said.

He said that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had first discussed dismissing Comey before either of them had even taken their posts. But he said Tuesday he anticipated the conflict of interest and effectively recused himself on his first day on the job, and was never briefed on the Russian Federation investigation.

The attorney general went on to say that Comey's announcement in July 2016 that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would not be recommending charges in the Clinton case was a "usurpation" and a "stunning development", and that it showed "a lack of discipline". Amid reports that Trump had considered getting rid Mueller, Rosenstein testified earlier on Tuesday that he would not obey an order unless he determined it was lawful and appropriate.

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"I am not claiming executive privilege because that is the president's power, and I do not have the power to claim executive privilege". "If there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me what anybody says". Comey responded, "That's a question I can't answer".

He disputed that his involvement in Comey's firing violated the recusal.

Sessions argued that his statement at the confirmation hearing was not lie because of the context in which it was made - a "rambling" question from Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota about collusion.

Sessions recused himself from the Department of Justice Russia investigation in March, but then signed a letter endorsing Comey's firing in May.

Sessions denies improper collusion with Russians
Sessions adamantly maintained he was not, but insisted that he was following the "historic polices" of the Justice Department . His impassioned response came after Senate Democrats raised questions about whether Sessions privately met with Kislyak.

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