Attorney General Jeff Sessions has heatedly denied that he had any undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador or conversations with Russian officials about the USA elections.
"I recused myself from any investigation into the campaigns for president, but I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations", he said.
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Trump flew back from Milwaukee today that he watched parts of the hearing, "thought that Attorney General Sessions did a very good job and, in particular, was very strong on the point that there was no collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign".
The former Alabama senator defended himself against accusations that he misrepresented himself during his confirmation hearing by saying he hadn't met with Russian officials during the campaign.
Sessions had one major goal - to protect himself after Comey thrust him into the center of the Russian Federation maelstrom.
Sessions insisted he stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation because he was a principal adviser to the Trump campaign, not because he did something wrong or was a subject of the probe.
Just days after Comey's detailed testimony about his private exchanges with the president put the White House on the defensive, Sessions spoke at a hearing he abruptly requested over the weekend to help the administration regain its footing in an investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 election. But many Democrats have accused Sessions of misleading the Senate Judiciary Committee during his January confirmation hearing. While Trump told Comey it might be good to look at "satellites" in the Trump orbit, it might be inferred that Trump was suggesting he was willing to throw subordinates under the bus in service of clearing the president's name as expeditiously as possible.
Overseeing the Justice department will mean that Mr Sessions ensured nobody, including the President was crossing any lines; especially not in a bid to obstruct justice.
"I know how this will be discussed, but that's the rule that's been long adhered to by Department of Justice, as you know, Sen".
"This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it", he added.
At a separate hearing Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein declared he'd seen no basis for dismissing Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director he appointed as special counsel after Sessions' recusal.
Spicer, the spokesman, declined to say then that Sessions enjoyed Trump's confidence, though spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later in the week that the president had confidence "in all of his Cabinet".
Democratic senators pressed Sessions on the legal rationale for his refusal to discuss those private conversations, as Sessions acknowledged that Trump had not asserted executive privilege around the hearing.
Barely a month after Trump dismissed Comey, rumors have been circulating that he may yet seek to sack Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed following the FBI chief's ouster to head the agency's Russian Federation investigation.
Rosenstein said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify. If I wanted to ask questions about that investigation, I'd ask those of Rod Rosenstein.
Lawmakers, including Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, have asked the FBI to investigate and to determine if Sessions committed perjury when he denied having had meetings with Russians. They demanded some kind of written policy or regulation from the Justice Department. He says he has confidence in the Mueller probe.
This was among the many times Sessions attempted to explain that he is protecting the President's right to choose to invoke executive privilege in not sharing the details of conversations.
On another hot-button issue, Sen. Last week, Mr. Comey in characteristic, dramatic, and theatrical fashion, alluded ominously to what you call innuendo, that there was some kind of classified intelligence that suggested you might have colluded with Russian Federation or that you might have otherwise acted improperly.
Later, when Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked if Rosenstein knew of any reason to fire Mueller, the deputy attorney general was curt: "No, sir". "Rubio, probably so", Sessions replied.