Jeff Sessions Says ‘Nothing Wrong’ With The FBI Director Talking To The President
WASHINGTON ― Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday disputed the sworn testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, who said last week that Sessions “did not reply” when Comey raised concerns that President Donald Trump was violating rules limiting contacts between the Justice Department and the White House.
Sessions, testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, also said that direct discussions between Comey and Trump would only be problematic if they had discussed ongoing investigations.
“There’s nothing wrong with the president having a communication with the FBI director,” Sessions said.
Comey, in his testimony before the same panel last week, said he spoke with Sessions about Trump’s conduct when the president spoke with him alone in the Oval Office after asking Sessions to leave.
“I told the AG that what had just happened ― him being asked to leave while the FBI director, who reports to the AG, remained behind ― was inappropriate and should never happen,” Comey said.
Sessions, Comey claimed, “did not reply.”
But Sessions said Tuesday that he agreed that “the FBI and Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policies regarding appropriate contacts with the White House.”
Sessions recalled leaving Comey and Trump alone in the Oval Office. But he said the fact that Comey and Trump were alone was “not problematic,” by itself, Sessions said.
Sessions’ testimony suggested that it would be on Comey to shut down inappropriate discussions with Trump. Sessions did not say he committed to raising the issue with Trump or making sure the president was aware of the rules around communications between Trump and DOJ.
Sessions said he “encouraged” Comey to follow the “well-established […]