A defiant Jeff Sessions told Congress that while he did attend an event where the Russian Ambassador was present, he never had any conversations related to the FBI’s investigation into a possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, calling the suggestion that he participated in such collusion, “an appalling and detestable lie.”
During an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Sessions acknowledged he was present at an event at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. which included both Russian officials and President Trump but insisted he does not remember interacting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.
“If any brief interaction occurred in passing with the Russian ambassador, I do not remember it,” he told senators.
In March, The Huffington Post reported that Sessions and Kislyak had attended that event, which included Trump, but that it was not clear whether or not the two had spoken. And last week, fired FBI Director James Comey testified in a closed-door meeting with the senators that Sessions may have had an undisclosed third meeting with the Russian ambassador.
At issue: Did Sessions lie under oath during his confirmation hearing? Sessions insisted Tuesday that his answer was accurate in the context in which it was asked.
In his opening statement Tuesday, Sessions explained that Minnesota Sen. Al Frankin’s “rambling” question was the first time he had heard about it, saying he “wanted to refute that, immediately.”