Sessions Refuses to Answer Questions on Trump, Comey
Attorney general claims executive privilege during Senate testimony
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2017 2:21 PM CDT
Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Jeff Sessions refused Wednesday to answer questions about his "confidential conversations with the president" regarding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, CNN reports. The attorney general claimed executive privilege when questioned by Democrats during testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I cannot waive that privilege myself or otherwise compromise his ability to assert it," Sessions said. The move is sure to upset Democrats after Sessions used the same excuse in refusing to answer similar questions in June. According to the New York Times, the nine Democrats on the committee sent a letter to Sessions last week saying he was expected to answer the questions unless President Trump formally invoked executive privilege, which he has not.

Most of Wednesday's hearing was centered on Russia, and Sessions largely avoided saying "anything of real substance," the Washington Post reports. For example, Sessions refused to say whether or not he had been asked for an interview by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, saying he "will check and let you know." The attorney general also had a heated interaction with Sen. Al Franken, who noted Sessions has changed his story from having no contact with the Russian government during the campaign to having no improper contact after it was revealed he met with the Russian ambassador. While accusing Franken of being "totally unfair to me," Sessions admitted Wednesday it was "possible" that "some comment was made about what Trump's positions were" during his meeting with the ambassador.

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