The comments came as Sessions testified at a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee about his meetings with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, and any discussions he had with the president before former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey was sacked.
Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked Sessions whether Trump records his conversations in the White House. I would be especially curious about the content of the conversation since Session described Comey as being "concerned".
Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Trump campaign-Russia investigation.
Yet, when Sessions chose to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, many took that as a sign of guilt. "I was your colleague in this body for 20 years, at least some of you, and I - and the suggestion that I participated in any collusion, that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country-which I have served with honor for 35 years-or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process an appalling and detestable lie".
He also said he recommended FBI Director Comey's firing based on the Deputy Attorney General's report on the situation at the FBI.
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of OR asked Sessions about suggestions arising from Comey's testimony last week that there was something "problematic" about his recusal.
When it later emerged he had in fact had several meetings with Kislyak, some Democrats accused him of lying to Congress and demanded his resignation.
There had been some question as to whether the hearing would be open to the public, but the Justice Department said he requested it be because he "believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him".
Sessions engaged in an especially heated exchange with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), audibly raising his voice after the Oregon Democrat suggested he was "stonewalling" by refusing to answer questions about his conversations with the president.
"I am not stonewalling", Sessions said. These false attacks, the innuendo, and the leaks, you can be sure, will not intimidate me.
"I can not and will not violate my duty to protect the confidential communications I have with the president", he said. He does not acknowledge the unanimous conclusions of the USA intelligence community that Russian Federation massively intervened in our election.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined to discuss Trump's "private conversations" with Sessions about Comey, and he left open the possibility that the administration may ask the attorney general to invoke executive privilege regarding them.
In reference to his unrecorded meetings with Russian officials, Sessions said, "I readily acknowledge these two meetings and certainly not one thing happened that was improper in any one of those meetings".
Asked about media reports that he had met with Kislyak on a third occasion at a Washington hotel previous year, Sessions testified that did not remember meeting or having a conversation with the ambassador at the event.
"If any brief interaction occurred in passing.I do not remember it", he said.
In a February meeting, Comey said, Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before asking him to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.
"My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn't be leaving, which is why he was lingering", Comey said last week.
Sessions refused to say whether he and Trump discussed FBI director James Comey's handling of an investigation into possible coordination between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation during the election campaign before the president fired Comey on May 9.
Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says the White House and President Donald Trump should let the special counsel's investigation continue, and await vindication. "I affirmed his concern that we should be following the proper guidelines of the Department of Justice, and basically backed him up in his concerns".
Comey said he held back because he expected Sessions to withdraw from the Russian Federation inquiry, and the bureau was aware of "facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic".