Jeff Sessions denies 'false and scurrilous Russia allegations'

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

In a testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, Comey raised red flags when he said that prior to Sessions' recusal, the FBI was aware of information that would have made his continued involvement in the Russian Federation investigation "problematic".

Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Trump campaign-Russia investigation.

Sessions, a close campaign adviser to Trump and the first senator to endorse him, stepped aside from the investigation in early March after acknowledging he had spoken twice in the months before the election with the Russian ambassador.

Comey also reportedly told lawmakers behind closed doors that one of those details included another unreported meeting between Sessions and the Russian ambassador. It was an honest mistake. Yet, it seems that attorney general, otherwise known as the chief law enforcement officer of the federal government, has never been given - or, perhaps, has never asked for - an official rundown of the accusations.

Comey referred frequently to the attorney general and included the tantalizing tidbit that there were "facts that I can't discuss in an open setting".

Sessions insisted he stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation because he was a principal adviser to the Trump campaign, not because he did something wrong or was a subject of the probe.

"I've watched that video so many times", said Flores.

Collins focused on Sessions' original reasons for recommending Comey's firing - that he mishandled Clinton email controversy.

Sessions said to Sen. Democrats pressed Sessions repeatedly to say if he had discussed Russian Federation and Comey with Mr. Trump, but didn't get very far about those conversations between Sessions and the President.

JOHNSON: Well, Democrats were trying to find out. Sessions also cited Justice Department "longstanding policy" in explaining why he would not answer questions.

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It may be years, however, before the country can formally exit the deal, but Trump said he'll immediately halt implementation. Repeating his insistence that the deal is inherently unfair, Trump referenced India's continued reliance on fossil fuels.

Sessions said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein prepared a memo on Comey's performance that "noted some serious problems" with his performance.

In the process, he appeared to blur the definition of what executive privilege is and how it works - and how it doesn't.

Harris went on to finish the question just before committee chairman Richard Burr chimed in, "Senators, we'll allow the chair to control the hearing".

Disappointingly, he didn't do so in his testimony Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"You are obstructing", charged Sen.

"It did not violate my recusal", Sessions responded.

Has he discussed the possibility of pardoning anyone involved in the investigation with Trump?

Sessions said he recused himself from the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation only because of a regulation to require the step because of his involvement in the Trump campaign.

As Mr Trump tried to shoo everyone out to talk alone with Mr Comey, Mr Sessions lingered, in Comey's account.

And Sessions also did not give a solid answer about why he didn't ask more questions of Comey when Comey complained to him this year about pressure from Donald Trump. Sessions, however, could have invoked executive privilege himself.

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