Jeff Sessions does little to inspire public confidence

Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn't answer a number of questions from senators during his testimony on Tuesday - but he didn't invoke executive privilege to avoid doing so.

Testifying publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sessions confirmed that Comey expressed to him "concern about proper communications protocol with the White House and with the President".

Comey, who was leading the FBI's Russian Federation investigation when Trump fired him last month, said in a Senate testimony last week that he had told Trump three times between January and March that Trump was not personally under investigation.

Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, is leading an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Comey claimed after feeling pressured in a conversation with US President Donald Trump to back off an investigation into the former national security adviser, he "implored" Sessions to make sure he was never left alone with the president but said Sessions didn't respond.

President Donald Trump assailed reports of an obstruction of justice investigation into his conduct Thursday, calling allegations of collusion between his presidential campaign and Russian Federation a "phony story".

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Warner asked Sessions if he was evoking executive privilege.

But the revelations forced Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation in March, and it is now being handled by a special counsel.

The White House has denied any collusion, and Trump has repeatedly complained about the probe, saying Democrats can not accept his election win.

In a combative and emotional Senate hearing, Sessions beseeched his former Senate colleagues to believe him when he said he did not hold a meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a speech by then-candidate Donald Trump at the Mayflower hotel a year ago. About Page, Sessions said "I don't know".

Mr Comey last week told the same committee there was no FBI investigation of Mr Trump himself in regards to Russian Federation, at least under his leadership.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull mimicked Donald Trump's mannerisms and made reference to the Russian Federation scandal, in comments he said were "affectionately light-hearted".

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Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

While Mr Comey did not act on it, he had taken it as a "direction", he had told the committee.

One of those administration officials, Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, met with members of the Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session, according to the agency.

Legal experts warned that Comey's testimony may provide enough evidence for an obstruction of justice case against Trump, which could be used as the basis for impeachment proceedings.

The attorney general on March 2 recused himself from the FBI investigation into Russia's role in the election, saying he felt he was required to do so because he had been a prominent figure in Trump's campaign.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Comey had presented no evidence to prove that Moscow meddled in the US election, adding that Washington had tried to influence Russian elections "year after year", he said. The Washington Post report suggests that scrutiny has been folded into the special counsel office, and includes Kushner's business dealings, though it offers no details on what that scrutiny is.

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Last week, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said the committee would ask Johnson to testify about interactions former President Barack Obama's administration had with secretaries of state and local election officials about the dangers the Russian hacking posed to election systems.

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