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sessions hearing

Jeff Sessions calls the suggestion he colluded with Russia an 'appalling and detestable lie'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday dismissed the suggestion that he "participated in any collusion" with the Russian government as "an appalling and detestable lie" during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Former FBI Director James Comey reportedly raised the possibility that Sessions had a third, previously unreported closed-door meeting with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016. Sessions confirmed he was at an event at the hotel at that time, but denied meeting with Kislyak.

"Let me state this clearly," Sessions said. "I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States. Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign. I was your colleague in this body for 20 years, and the suggestion 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."

Watch Sessions' opening statement below. Jeva Lange