U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions tesitfies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington D.C., the United States, on June 13, 2017. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
WASHINGTON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday strongly denied the accusation that he colluded with Russia during last year's Donald Trump campaign, calling it an "appalling and detestable lie."
Testifying publicly before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, Sessions also denied he had a third meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 campaign.
"Not one thing happened that was improper" in his two meetings as a senator with the Russian ambassador last year, he told the lawmakers, vowing to defend his "honor against scurrilous and false allegations."
"I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election," the Trump's top lawyer said.
Meanwhile, he said it was not improper for Trump to meet with the then FBI Director James Comey, but it was improper for Comey to disclose the content of his one-to-one talks with Trump.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions swears prior to testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington D.C., the United States, on June 13, 2017. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
The attorney general said he couldn't confirm or deny private talks he had with Trump regarding the firing of Comey.
Comey told lawmakers last week that he knew details that made Sessions's involvement in the FBI Russia probe "problematic."
Comey also reportedly told lawmakers behind closed doors that one of those details included another unreported meeting between Sessions and the Russian ambassador.
The attorney general was forced to recuse himself in March from the federal investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election after media reports that he twice met with Kislyak during the 2016 campaign and did not disclose that to the Senate during his confirmation hearing in January.
Sessions is the first U.S. senator to show public support for Trump's campaign. The probe over the possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia is now in the hands of special counsel Bob Mueller following the Comey dismissal.