tiptrot.com June 22, 2018

Al Franken Tears Into Jeff Sessions Over Shifting Narratives on Russia Meetings

22 October 2017, 12:34 | Bernice Figueroa

Al Franken Tears Into Jeff Sessions Over Shifting Narratives on Russia Meetings

US Attorney General Sessions Speaks In OKC

"Well I didn't take up as much time as Senator Franken took", Sessions cut in.

Sessions hesitated when pressed by Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday after Leahy asked whether Sessions had been interviewed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the FBI's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 u.s. presidential election.

"And I responded on the spot - it had been six hours in the hearing, at the end of the day - and I said, 'I'm not aware of those activities, ' and I wasn't, and am not, and I don't believe they occurred", Sessions said.

The attorney general accused Mr Franken of making a lot of allegations and said the senator was "improperly framing" the situation.

'Under the administration of both parties, it is well established that a president is entitled to have private, confidential conversations with with his cabinet officials, his secretary of state, his secretary of defense, his secretary of treasury, and certainly his counsel and the attorney general of the united states who provides counsel, ' he said, reading from prepared remarks. But consistent with the longstanding policy and practice of the Executive Branch, I can neither assert Executive Privilege nor can I disclose today the content of my confidential conversations with the president, ' Sessions told the committee.

During a Senate hearing Wednesday, Sen.

Sessions says he gave President Donald Trump his opinion on Comey at Trump's request.

"Sessions of Alabama would have blown up if the attorney general said he can't even tell us he communicated with another attorney general in another state", Durbin quipped.

For now, it's unclear if Sessions believes federal contractors who maintain a place of public accommodation can turn away customers - as the Christian baker did - particularly given a 2014 executive order by former President Obama that bans LGBT discrimination by federal contractors.

But asked whether Trump had ever voiced concerns about a "cloud" over the Russian Federation investigation to Sessions - or what, in particular, Trump's concerns about Comey were - Sessions claimed the content of his conversations with the president was confidential.

Moments earlier, Leahy had asked Sessions: "You're our nation's top lawyer".

Last week, the Democratic senators on the committee sent a letter to Sessions, warning him that they expected he "will answer members' questions fully and truthfully" or invoke the privilege.

While Sessions has called for local law enforcement to kill their "sanctuary city" policies or risk losing federal funds, Durbin argued that these threats from the administration are only hurting Chicago - a city already suffering from a tremendous amount of gun violence.

In his opening statement, Sessions says "the order is lawful, necessary, and we are proud to defend it".

Sessions denied having any communications with Russians whatsoever during his confirmation hearing in January.

Mr. Sessions is also likely to face questions, at least from Democrats, about how the federal government on his watch has curtailed the Obama-era approach to enforcing antidiscrimination laws, especially protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But Trump has not formally invoked executive privilege, which might force a legal confrontation between the White House and Congress.

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