Sessions to face questions on Russia, Comey in high-stakes Senate hearing

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Here are the top five things we learned. "I did not attend any meetings at that event separate", Sessions said.

When Sessions declined to answer a similar question from Sen.

Legal experts said there was some merit to Sessions' argument. And it's conceivable that that occurred.

"Let me state this clearly, colleagues". If I don't qualify it you'll accuse me of lying.

Sessions said on Tuesday he did not recuse himself because he felt he was a subject of the investigation himself but rather because he felt he was required to by Justice Department rules. "It makes me nervous".

A former Republican senator, Sessions was an early supporter of Trump's presidential campaign, but sources say there has been tension between the two men in recent weeks because Trump was annoyed that Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation probe.

Comey's firing has been a source of considerable controversy for the Trump administration. In fact, according to Sessions, he had recused himself two weeks earlier. They say he did not mislead Congress because the encounters were part of his job as a senator, not as a surrogate of the Trump campaign.

Trump responded to Comey's testimony during a news conference at the White House one day later, effectively accusing him of lying under oath about being asked for a pledge of loyalty and bringing the Flynn probe to an end.

Trump brushed aside Holt's question about the timing of the firing, which raised eyebrows coming as it did while Comey was overseeing an investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russians who meddled in the election.

First, Sessions discounted Comey's report that Sessions didn't want to leave the room because he felt like something might be amiss. How would Sessions know what Comey was referring to?

Sessions, despite repeatedly being pushed by the Democratic Senators refused to give details of his communications with the President.

Later, Sessions directly blasted Comey for his testimony in private last week, "This is a secret innuendo out there being leaked about me - and I don't appreciate it". "But what he did see and what he heard - he thought that Attorney General Sessions did a very good job, and, in particular, was very strong on the point that there was no collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign".

"While the president has every right to" terminate Mueller, Sanders told reporters, "he has no intention to do so".

Under a barrage of questions from Democratic senators, Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied any significant contact with Russian officials during the election, denied that his decision to fire FBI director James Comey had anything to do with the FBI investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and even denied knowledge of the US intelligence community's pre-election finding that Russia interfered in the election.

Unlike the President's successful TV program, where ratings seemed to rise each time he fired someone, his already lackluster poll numbers might plummet if he terminates Mueller before the special counsel has completed his investigation.

A person close to Trump's legal team said earlier Tuesday that there have been no discussions about firing Mueller with the legal team.

Anxiety about the probe - and fresh concerns about the political leanings of some of the attorneys involved - is percolating in the West Wing of the White House.

Still, it took until Tuesday night for the White House to actually dispute Ruddy's suspicion.

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