Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

'Nervous' Jeff Sessions' attempt at Trump-like bravado falls flat


Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied on Tuesday having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the USA or conversations with any Russian officials about the US election that sent Donald Trump to the White House. Tom Cotton during his Senate intelligence committee hearing Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions demonstrated a surprising knowledge of espionage thrillers.

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". Sessions met with Russian officials twice in 2016 prior to the election, but failed to disclose the meetings during his testimony to become Attorney General.

Sessions' lack of interest in the Russian meddling seems to have mirrored Trump's lack of concern.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied on Tuesday having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the US and declared it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest he was aware of or took part in any collusion between Russian Federation and the election campaign that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

"So you were his superior and there were some fairly harsh things you said about Director Comey".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters later that Trump thought Sessions "did a very good job" and was especially "strong" on denying any collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation. Sessions requested an open hearing, though it's not clear what he will and won't address in his televised testimony. Here's one exchange between Sessions and independent Senator Angus King of Maine. Cotton", Sessions said. "It's just like 'Through the Looking Glass.' I mean, what is this? No. I've racked my brain to make sure I could answer those questions correctly and I did not.

"I am not stonewalling", Sessions told Sen. You're not the witness we were supposed to hear from today.

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

The strangest disconnect of the day was among Republicans and Democrats on the intelligence committee who agree that the Russians dangerously interfered with the 2016 election and will do so in future ones, and a White House that has a freaky lack of interest in what happened. But his former Democratic colleagues pressed him repeatedly on his contacts with Russian Federation and his role in the dismissal of Comey - who led the FBI's probe on Russian Federation until he was ousted.

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SESSIONS: I - why don't you tell me?

Sessions said he was, indeed, "one of the last ones" to leave the White House after a meeting on February 14.

Clinton herself has said Comey's conduct contributed to her loss to Trump, and Trump as a candidate inveighed against Clinton's handling of her emails repeatedly. I can tell you that for absolute certainty.

Sessions said 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.

The abrupt dismissal of Comey prompted Trump's critics to charge that the president was trying to interfere with a criminal investigation. "But that in itself is not problematic. I would have gladly have reported the meeting and encounter that may have occurred, and some say occurred, in the Mayflower if I had remembered it or if it actually occurred, which I don't remember that it did".

The Justice Department has responded, citing the need to follow "appropriate policies regarding contacts with the White House".

He refused to say whether Trump ordered him out of the room so that the president could tell the then Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey, to go easy on Michael Flynn.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during Tuesday's Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

Trump has expressed frustration with Sessions, one of his earliest high-profile campaign backers, but the attorney general's steely demeanor showed he was prepared to push back against outside criticism.

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