Attorney General Jeff Sessions reasserted to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that he was not involved in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and, citing confidentiality, refused to disclose conversations he may have had with Donald Trump regarding the alleged meddling and the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
"I can neither assert executive privilege neither can I disclose today the contents of my confidential conversations with the President," Sessions told the committee, calling those communications "the core of executive privilege."
In June Sessions called allegations of him colluding with Russian officials to undermine the election an “appalling and detestable lie,” during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in which he also acknowledged that the intelligence community had come to the consensus that Russia did attempt to influence the election.
“I have never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States,” Sessions said at the time.
He also told the intelligence committee that he had recused himself from any investigations into Russian interference into the 2016 U.S. presidential election in March because he felt it was in line with Department of Justice policy to prevent a potential conflict of interest since he was a key foreign policy adviser in the campaign.
Sessions held at least two talks with the Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak while he was a key adviser to Trump's campaign.
After being pushed at Wednesday's Judiciary Committee hearing by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as to whether he had yet been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller, Sessions reluctantly said, "The answer's no."
When Leahy expressed concern that Sessions was “part of the Russian façade and went along with it,” Sessions responded, “I'm not part of a façade.”