Campaign collusion with Russia a ‘detestable lie’
WASHINGTON: US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions has strongly denied alleged involvement in any collusion with Russia during last year’s presidential campaign by Donald Trump, calling it an “appalling and detestable lie”.
“The suggestion that I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie,” he told lawmakers when testifying before the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Not one thing happened that was improper” in his two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 campaign, said Sessions, who was then an Alabama senator and a close Trump adviser.
Sessions also denied that he had a third, unreported meeting with the Russian ambassador during the campaign that made Trump US president.
“I have never met or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States,” Trump’s top lawyer said.
“Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected with the Trump campaign,” Sessions told the hearing.
US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to interfere in the US presidential election, including hacking and disclosing damaging e-mails against Trump’s rival, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Russia has denied any such interference, and Trump has denied any collusion with Russia.