He denied reports of a third meeting with the Russian ambassador to the US
Donald Trump's Attorney General has denied colluding with Russia to influence the US Presidential election.
Jeff Sessions gave evidence to a Senate investigation into whether the Russian government tried to influence the vote.
Mr Sessions was questioned about contacts he had with the Russian ambassador and other officials during the 2016 campaign.
Sessions following Coats and Rogers precedent in acting as if POTUS has blocked some testimony via executive privilege without saying so— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 13, 2017
During the senate hearing, he acknowledged having two previously disclosed meetings with Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the US.
However, he denied reports of a third meeting at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel, before a foreign policy speech by then-candidate Donald Trump in April 2016.
“I can assure you none of those meetings discussed manipulating a campaign…or any hacking," says Sessions, again eliding the actual issue.— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) June 13, 2017
The Attorney General also disputed an account of a conversation with former FBI Director James Comey, who testified before Congress last week saying that he told Sessions he did not want to be left alone with Mr Trump.
When asked if he has had any other meetings with Russian officials, Sessions said: "I have wracked my brain and I do not believe so."
Sessions was confronted during the hearing when he refused to answer questions about conversations that he had with President Trump.
When asked about what the basis was for his refusal to answer certain questions, Sessions said : "I am protecting the right of the president to assert it if he chooses and there may be other protections that apply.”
Angus King, The junior senator from Maine who asked the question responded by saying "I have not idea what you are talking about."
If you can't answer because executive privilege might be invoked one never needs to invoke executive privilege, right?— John Dickerson (@jdickerson) June 13, 2017
Sessions responding by saying "If it comes to a point where the issue is clear and there is a dispute about it, at some point the president will either assert the privilege or not, or some other privilege.
"It would be premature for me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice about executive privilege."