In October, Mr. Periods testified that he recognized of no one in the Trump campaign who had contacts with Russians. “And I don’t believe it happened,” he said then.
Court papers in the particular counsel investigation have since demonstrated that Mr. Periods led a round-table last year in which a campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, reviewed his Russian ties and advised setting up a gathering between Mr. Trump and Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president.
Mr. Periods said he nowadays remembers the round-table discussion and that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but, he said, “I’ve no clear recollection of the facts of what he explained.” Mr. Sessions seemed even more certain about his own response to Mr. Papadopoulos: “I pushed back against his suggestion.”
He offered an impassioned defense of his previous testimony, saying he didn’t intentionally mislead anyone about fleeting and forgotten meetings. “You’re accusing me of lying about this?” he said. “I would say that’s not good, colleagues.”
“I don’t believe that it is to accuse me of doing something amiss,” he added
Democrats criticized Mr. Periods for what they explained was repeatedly producing inaccurate statements. During his confirmation hearings in January, Mr. Periods informed the Senate that he previously not had any connection with Russians. He features since acknowledged meeting privately with the Russian ambassador. Mr. Sessions explained again on Tuesday that he believed the query was asked in the context of Russian election interference, and he answered for the reason that spirit.
Congressional Republicans, who’ve consistently been his most significant allies, found Mr. Sessions’ defense. “You didn’t carry out anything wrong,” Representative Ron DeSantis of Florida explained. When it appeared previously this year that Mr. Trump was going to fire him, his former Senate colleagues formed a individual shield, saying they would not confirm a replacement.
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Mr. Sessions features fallen from favor at the White Home, where Mr. Trump blames him for Mr. Mueller’s investigation. The president believes that if Mr. Sessions hadn’t recused himself from the Russia investigation, there could have been no need for a special counsel. White Home officials believe Mr. Periods’ poor performances before Congress have simply made things worse.
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Even as Mr. Trump features acknowledged that he is not supposed to involve himself in Justice Division decision making, he features called for prosecutors to research Hillary Clinton and associates of the Obama administration.
Mr. Sessions seemed to have received the message. In a Nov. 13 letter delivered to the House Judiciary Committee, the Justice Division said it could examine allegations that donations to the Clinton Foundation influenced a 2010 decision to permit a Russian firm to buy an American provider that owned usage of uranium in the United States.
Mr. Sessions sidestepped issues about if the president’s comments were appropriate.
“I’ve not been improperly influenced and wouldn’t normally get improperly influenced. The president speaks his head. He’s a bold and direct about what he says,” Mr. Periods said. “We carry out our duty each day based on regulations and the facts.”
The letter about the uranium package gave a boost to conservatives who have been calling for a special counsel to research Mrs. Clinton. But Mr. Sessions didn’t entirely endorse the idea. When Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, explained it looked like there was already enough evidence to investigate, Mr. Periods responded: “‘Looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel.”
Democrats repeatedly questioned Mr. Periods’ independence and honesty. “I don’t want to hear in just a few days or a few weeks that your answers, Mr. Attorney General, have changed,” explained Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez of Illinois.
Mr. Periods testified a day following the Atlantic magazine revealed that Donald J. Trump Jr., the president’s eldest child, had exchanged private text messages on Twitter with WikiLeaks during the campaign. WikiLeaks published a trove of embarrassing Democratic e-mail that were stolen by Russian hackers.
The Twitter conversations undercut statements made last year by Vice President Mike Pence, who was Indiana’s governor at the time. Asked during an overall look on the Fox & Close friends program on Fox Media whether the Trump campaign was “in cahoots with WikiLeaks,” Mr. Pence categorically denied it.
“Nothing could possibly be further from the reality,” he said. “I believe all of us have, you know, had concerns about WikiLeaks through the years.”
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A good spokeswoman for Mr. Pence circulated a press declaration saying he previously not recognized anyone associated with the campaign being in contact with WikiLeaks until the reports about any of it surfaced on Monday.
Mr. Sessions as well waded in to the controversy over the man running for his former Senate chair from Alabama. The applicant, Roy S. Moore, faces accusations from five women that he built sexual or passionate advances on them if they were teenagers.
“I’ve no reason to uncertainty these young women,” Mr. Periods said. Mr. Moore features denied the allegations.
His remarks are more bad news for Mr. Moore, who features all but been abandoned by Washington Republicans. The Senate bulk innovator, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has declared: “I really believe the women.” And the first choice of the Senate Republican campaign arm, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, explained that the Senate should vote to expel Mr. Moore if he wins.