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US Attorney General Jeff Sessions Dodges Donald Trump Questions, Angering Democrats

15 Juin 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, center, testifies as he is photographed on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to recuse from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump.

Eastern Michigan University Political Science professor Ed Sidlow says there were no fireworks like there were last week with former FBI Director James Comey over conversations with President Donald Trump that Comey believed were meant to have him stop further investigation into Russian interference in US politics.

While no one but Sessions can know his exact motivation for dodging the questions, most of the questions he ducked involved whether or not he had discussed the investigations into Russian Federation and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, or their role in the decision to fire James Comey with the president.

In a tense session of the Senate committee, members grilled Sessions on a series of issues, including conversations he had with Trump and his role in Comey's departure as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"[Comey] perhaps didn't know, but I basically recused myself day I got in office because I never accessed files, learned names of investigators", he said. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., both asked him to specify which Department of Justice rules protect conversations Sessions had with Trump without invoking executive privilege. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., rejected knowledge of such information and said that he doesn't appreciate the "secret innuendo being leaked out there about me".

"You are not answering questions".

Spicer, the spokesman, declined to say then that Sessions enjoyed Trump's confidence, though spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later in the week that the president had confidence "in all of his Cabinet".

In an explosive Senate intelligence hearing last week, Comey testified that - based on Trump's statements - he believes he was sacked because of the investigation into Russian election meddling and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.

Stewart, who saw portions of the hearing and read most of the transcript that was available Tuesday evening, said he considered Sessions' responses appropriate in not discussing his conversations with Trump.

Sessions publicly recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation after accusations of collusion, but he outright denied any wrongdoing. "There are none", said Sessions.

"I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling", Sen.

"J'ai clairement vu quelqu'un sauter" — Incendie à Londres
La police a procédé à l'évacuation d'une partie des immeubles et maisons voisins menacés par la chute de débris lourds. Des analyses sont par ailleurs menées vis-à-vis de la structure du bâtiment, grandement fragilisée par les flammes.

Comey also reportedly told lawmakers behind closed doors that one of those details included another unreported meeting between Sessions and the Russian ambassador.

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.

Here's a look at the top quotes from Sessions' hearing.

In an intriguing exchange, Sessions avoided answering a question about whether the president has mused about pardoning the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, or anyone else caught up in the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"I am not stonewalling", Sessions said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied Tuesday having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the United States and conversations with any Russian officials about the USA election that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

"I did depart", he said.

During a contentious hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the former Trump campaign adviser also clashed with several senators, including Sen. Sessions denied a 2016 meeting with the Russian ambassador at the Mayflower hotel.

Two months after his recusal, Mr. Sessions signed off on Mr. Comey's firing.

Sessions said it would be "absurd" to suggest that a recusal from a single investigation would render him unable to manage the leadership of the FBI. From that point on, he traveled with the Trump team and made speeches praising Trump on the campaign trail.