Sessions Calls Collusion Speculation ‘Detestable,’ Professes ‘Confidence’ in Mueller

Sessions, testifying under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday, denied ever having any conversations with Russians about Russian election meddling – including at an event previous year at a Washington hotel that was attended by Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.”I’m not able to comment on conversations with high officials within the White House”, Sessions said.”Will you let me qualify it?”In his opening statement, Sessions expressed concern about Russian interference in the election.”The suggestion that I participated in any hurt this country, which I have served with honor for 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process is an appalling and detestable lie”, Sessions said.”This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don’t appreciate it”, Sessions said, referring to media reports that Comey told lawmakers in a closed session that the Kislyak meeting would lead to Sessions’ recusal from the Russian investigation.Many of those who posted the picture noted that Sessions was speaking to Kislyak, making it seem as if Sessions was purposely lying about not speaking to Kislyak or not remembering the meeting, but in the photo, the Russian ambassador was actually seated several rows away from Sessions.As the Senate intelligence committee asked Sessions repeatedly why he refused to answer certain questions regarding Trump, the president was watching.Sessions did not cite executive privilege in declining to answer some questions but said he is “protecting the right of the president to assert it if he chooses”.Sessions, who had been named to Trump’s national security advisory board the previous month, said he “came there as a interested person, very anxious to see how President Trump would do in his first major foreign policy address – I believe he’d only given one major speech before, that one, maybe, at the Jewish AIPAC event”.”Like the silence of Rep. Coats and Admiral Rogers, I think your silence speaks volumes”, Heinrich said.In a series of tweets during the hearing, U.S. Sen.”We are talking about an attack on our democratic institutions, and stonewalling of any kind is unacceptable”, Wyden said.Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who has frequently supported Trump and worked with Sessions when he was in the Senate, offered him a hand, painting a comical portrait of an alleged spy scheme. Sessions said. “I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice”. Kamala Harris – which earned a rebuke from Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) asked, “One, did you have any meetings with Russian officials or their proxies on behalf of the Trump campaign or during your time as attorney general?”When Sessions declined to answer a similar question from Sen. “That, to me, is the smartest thing to do, the best thing to do”.And he avoided answering the key question raised by Comey’s testimony: What did Sessions learn about the Russian Federation investigation between February 10 and March 2 that made “his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic?” “While the president has every right to” fire Mr. Mueller, “he has no intention to do so”, the White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters late Tuesday after a day of speculation over Mr. Mueller’s fate.