Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Sessions vehemently denies Russian Federation collusion claims

Sessions vehemently denies Russian Federation collusion claims

"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 in the United States", Sessions told a closely-watched hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"Manchin asked Comey whether Trump had ever expressed curiosity about Russia's attempts to swing the election; Comey said that he "[didn't] remember any conversations with the president about the Russian Federation election interference". Martin Heinrich (D-NM) told Sessions: "You're not answering questions". There's no evidence Jeff Sessions, the attorney general and former Alabama senator, colluded with Russian officials to sway the election toward Donald Trump.

"Many have suggested that my recusal is because I felt I was a subject of the investigation myself, that I may have done something wrong", Sessions added.

"My recusal does not and can not interfere with my ability to oversee the Department of Justice", he added. Pressed on this by senators on the Intelligence committee, Sessions pointed out that his recommendation to Trump on Comey was based in turn on a recommendation from Rosenstein.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of OR asked Sessions about suggestions arising from Comey's testimony last week that there was something "problematic" about his recusal. Despite months of turmoil surrounding Russia's efforts to distort American elections, says Sessions, he neither received nor requested a classified briefing to get up to speed on the threat posed by Russian forces. There are none, Sen.

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Cooper agreed with Wyden and began asking how the Senate could force Sessions to cooperate.

But Comey wanted Sessions to serve as an intermediary with the president, telling him it was wrong to be buddy-buddy with someone directing an investigation of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Sessions said, "I am not stonewalling".

Barely a month after Trump dismissed Comey, rumors have been circulating that he may yet seek to sack Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed following the FBI chief's ouster to head the agency's Russian Federation investigation.

When asked about his conversation with Comey on the day the president spoke to Comey alone, Sessions described the exchange differently than the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief did in his testimony last week. "I believe everyone else did depart, and Director Comey was sitting in front of the President's desk and they were talking. I'm not sure what was in his mind explicitly when we talked to him", Sessions responded. Attorney General Janet Reno detailed her conversations with President Bill Clinton during the Waco hearings Just last week, Comey discussed his conversations with Trump. Ron Wyden, Sessions reacted harshly to a charge he was stonewalling the committee by refusing to answer questions about conversations with the president. He explained that Trump had not invoked executive privilege, but that Sessions wanted to preserve the president's right to assert it in the future.

Kislyak was actually present at Trump's first big foreign policy speech as a candidate - at a Washington, D.C., hotel and hosted by a think tank known to advocate pro-Russian views.

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We now know Sessions did meet with the Russian ambassador.

Democratic senators have seized on the possibility of a third meeting at that event to suggest that Sessions has not been forthcoming about the extent of his communications with the ambassador.

In a statement issued following the hearing, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked Sessions whether Trump records his conversations in the White House.

The results, which were a part of a Politico/Morning Consult poll released on Wednesday, found that 45 percent of voters said they trust Comey more to tell the truth, dwarfing the 32 percent who preferred Trump.

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