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

The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has rejected allegations that he took part in collusion with Moscow to influence the 2016 election as an "appalling and detestable lie".

"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.

Sessions got angry again when Wyden pressed Sessions to explain what facts might be "problematic "about his involvement in the Russian Federation probe, as Comey suggested".

Speaking before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sessions testified publicly for the first time about his role in the May 9 firing of Comey.

"I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign", he said.

He added, his voice rising in indignation: "I was your colleague in this body for 20 years, and the suggestion that I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honour for over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie".

Labour's Owen Smith appointed as shadow Northern Ireland secretary
Smith resigned as shadow work and pensions secretary in the wake of the European Union referendum last June. While Lesley Laird, who was elected for the first time last week, was made Shadow Scotland Secretary.

The appearance was Sessions's first sworn public testimony since being confirmed as attorney general in February, and comes as political intrigue pulses through the United States capital following Comey's explosive testimony last week.

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

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director also testified that he and the agency had believed Sessions was "inevitably going to recuse" for reasons he said he could not elaborate on.

Asked Monday if the White House thought Sessions should invoke executive privilege to avoid answering questions about his conversations with Trump, presidential spokesman Sean Spicer replied, "It depends on the scope of the questions". "Your silence... speaks volumes".

Sessions shot back: "I am not stonewalling".

"Following a routine morning threat briefing, Mr. Comey spoke to me and my chief of staff".

Trump responds to Comey testimony: He's a leaker
Asked by Karl whether he would be willing to say these things under oath, Trump replied, "100 percent". But Comey's testimony about the President has darkened clouds hanging over the White House.

Trump has recently expressed frustration with Sessions, who has come under pressure over his own Russian Federation contacts.

Sessions has recused himself from the federal investigations into possible Russian interference in the election after reports that he had spoken twice past year with Russia's ambassador to the US. "I hope you can let this go". He added that he remains responsible for all FBI matters except for the Russian Federation investigation.

Sessions declined to comment on those reports, stating only that he had "confidence" in Mueller and would not be involved in any effort, should it arise, to fire the special counsel.

At his confirmation hearing on 10 January, Sessions told the Senate: "I did not have communications with the Russians", a claim that was later proved untrue when the Washington Post revealed he had had two meetings with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the campaign.

Since then, lawmakers have raised questions about a possible third meeting at a Washington hotel, though the Justice Department has said that did not happen. "I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice".

Wyden noted Comey had said it was "problematic" for Sessions to oversee the Russian Federation probe, for reasons he did not explain in a public setting.

Dead, 18 Critical After Fire Engulfs London Tower Block
I just hope they have got everyone out. "I watched flames burst out of our window and our flat was engulfed in flames", he said. She left with all six of them. "She is now breaking her heart", Michael Paramasivan, a block resident, told BBC radio.

Sessions said he learned from Comey that he felt concerned about being left alone with the president but that, since Comey did not relay details of the conversation, he had no way of knowing it was improper.

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