Sessions: Any Suggestion of Collusion Is 'Detestable Lie'
AG testifies he never met with Russian officials about interfering in election
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2017 2:19 PM CDT
Updated Jun 13, 2017 3:43 PM CDT
Jeff Sessions is sworn-in Tuesday prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign, and his decision to...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions began his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday by claiming interference in the US' democratic process "can never be tolerated and I encourage every effort to get to the bottom of any such allegations" in his opening remarks. He went on to deny ever meeting any Russian officials to discuss interference in the 2016 election or campaign. Furthermore, he says he has no knowledge of anyone involved in the Trump campaign who held such meetings. Sessions says any suggestion he was involved in collusion with Russia is an "appalling and detestable lie." Here's what else you need to know from Sessions' testimony:

  • CNN reports Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr had four things he wanted to learn from Sessions' testimony, including: Sessions' possible meetings with Russian officials, why he recused himself from the Russia investigation, and if he was involved in the removal of James Comey.
  • Sessions refused to discuss conversations he's had with President Trump, according to the New York Times, saying: "I cannot and will not violate my duty to protect confidential communications with the president."
  • The Daily Beast reports that led Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich to accuse Sessions of "impeding" the Russian investigation, telling him: "Your silence ... speaks volumes."
  • Sessions argues that just because he recused himself from the Russian investigation, that didn't preclude him from recommending the firing of James Comey, according to the Los Angeles Times. Sessions says he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein agreed the FBI needed a "fresh start" long before meeting with Trump about it.
  • Sessions responded to questions about his honesty by suggesting there are "secret innuendos" out there about him.

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