Appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in fiery language, dismissed and derided the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents.
“I did not have any private meetings with Russian officials,” Sessions said, reading from a statement, and “Whether I attended a reception with the Russian ambassador is entirely beside the point.”
“Let me state this clearly, colleagues: I have never met with or had any conversation with any Russian officials about any campaign in the United States. And the suggestion that I participated in any collusion, that I was aware of any collusion to hurt this country, which I have served 35 years, is an appalling and detestable lie.”
On the Al Franken question asked during Sessions’ hearing for Attorney General: Sessions called the allegation “explosive.” “I wanted to refute that immediately. I replied, Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities.”
On the circumstances of recusal: “I met with career department officials to discuss some things publicly reported in the press that might have some bearing on whether I should recuse myself from this case. I was never briefed on any investigative details. I received only the limited details pertaining to the recusal.”
“I have no knowledge of this investigation beyond what is publicly reported, and I don’t even read that carefully. I recused myself not because of an asserted wrongdoing, but because DOJ regulation 20HcF4, I felt, required it. That regulation states that department employees should not serve in investigations into campaigns if they served as advisers in that campaign.”
“It is absurd, frankly, to suggest that a recusal would render the Attorney General unable” to conduct the affairs of the Justice Department.
On the meeting with Comey: “Mr. Comey expressed concern about proper communications with the White House. I responded to his comment by agreeing that the FBI and the DOJ should follow department policies regarding proper contacts with the White House. I was confident that he understood and would abide by limited contacts with the White House. My comments encouraged him to do just that. Mr. Comey well knew those policies.”
In closing, on the Trump agenda: “I recused myself from the investigation into the Trump campaign. But I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations. The people deserve an honest and transparent government. The Trump agenda is to improve the lives of the American people.”
The Buckster weighed in on Twitter:
Honestly, if you believe Jeff #Sessions would be part of a nefarious secret plot with Russia to throw an election, you’ll believe anything
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) June 13, 2017