FULL Jeff Sessions Al Franken TENSE Exchange During Senate Judiciary Hearing 10/18/17 - Video during: 00:14:51
Jeff Sessions Goes Off On Al Franken During Senate Judiciary Oversight Hearing 10/18/17. Jeff Sessions decided to fight back against senator Al Franken';s assertions that he and or Trump campaign colluded coordinated with Russians during the 2016 election. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday refused to discuss with the Senate judiciary committee his "confidential conversations with the President," saying it remains up to the President to claim or waive executive privilege.
"I can neither assert executive privilege neither can I disclose today the contents of my confidential conversations with the President," Sessions said. "It is well established that the President is entitled to have private, confidential conversations with his Cabinet officials ... such communications are the core of executive privilege."
Sessions' comments were a disappointment to the panel's Democrats, who had warned the attorney general they expected him to testify about conversations he had with the President about the firing about former FBI Director James Comey.
Sessions continued: "I cannot waive that privilege myself or otherwise compromise his ability to assert it."
Sessions also grew visibly uncomfortable when Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked him about his interactions with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Leahy pressed Sessions on whether he had been interviewed by Mueller, not allowing Sessions to demur to ask the special counsel about it first.
"The answer's no," Sessions finally said.
The oversight hearing comes after a tumultuous summer for Sessions, during which he was publicly derided by the President over his recusal from the Russian meddling investigation, served as the face of the administration's decision to rescind DACA and as his department suffered setbacks in the courts in trying to implement key pieces of the President's agenda, a fresh one coming Tuesday when a federal court blocked the third travel ban from going into effect and a second judge followed suit in part on Wednesday.
Sessions defended the travel ban in his opening statements on Wednesday, saying it was an "important step" for national security.
"It is a lawful and necessary order that we are proud to defend," Sessions said. "We're confident that we will prevail as time goes by in the Supreme Court."
FULL Jeff Sessions Al Franken TENSE Exchange During Senate Judiciary Hearing 10/18/17