Sessions made the comments as he appeared at a hearing Tuesday to answer questions about Russia’s alleged efforts to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election.
The attorney general vowed to defend his honor “against scurrilous and false allegations,” adding that any suggestion about his knowledge of a collusion would be a “detestable and appalling lie.”
“That I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honor for over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie,” he told members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing.
He also denied having had any interactions with foreign government officials in a campaign capacity.
“I do not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian ambassador or any other Russian officials,” he said.
The attorney general also dodged many of the questions, arguing that he “cannot and will not violate my duty to protect the confidential communications I have with the president,” Sessions said.
Instead he maintained that he was “not stonewalling,” but “following the historic policies of the Department of Justice.”
“I’m asking about your personal knowledge from this committee, which has a constitutional obligation to get to the bottom of this,” Heinrich said, adding that there are two investigations — one being conducted by a special counsel and probes being carried out by congressional committees, said New Mexico Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich.“I think your silence, like the silence of Director Coats, like the silence of Admiral Rogers, speaks volumes,”
Sessions (pictured below) wrote a letter to Trump recommending the abrupt dismissal of then-FBI Director James Comey, who was heading the investigation into ties between Trump’s associates and the Kremlin in the 2016 campaign and transition.
“[Comey] perhaps didn’t know, but I basically recused myself day I got in office because I never accessed files, learned names of investigators,” he said.
He made the comments just days after Comey suggested, in front of the same committee, that there may have been more interactions between Sessions and Russian officials that would make the attorney general’s involvement in the probe “problematic.”
When asked what made his involvement problematic, Sessions raised his voice, saying, “Why don’t you tell me? There are none. Senator Wyden, there are not. I can tell you for absolute certain.”
“This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me and I don’t appreciate it.”
Last week, Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he accused the president of lying.
Sessions is the most high-profile figure from the Trump administration to appear for a hearing into the matter.
Both Trump and Russia have denied allegations of interference and collusion.