Sessions didn’t think private Comey-Trump meeting was ‘a major problem’

In Nation
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Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R), along with Vice Chairman Senator Mark Warner (L), listens to testimony by former FBI Director James Comey during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), left, and Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.), listen to former FBI director James B. Comey’s testimony last week. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

In his testimony last week, former FBI director James B. Comey expressed particular concern about his private meeting with President Trump on Feb. 14 — a meeting that he said involved Trump ushering Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other officials out of the Oval Office.

Comey said that Sessions appeared to linger in the Oval Office before being guided out. Sessions, on Tuesday, did not seem as concerned about the FBI director’s private meeting with the president.

“It didn’t seem to me to be a major problem,” he said. “I knew that Director Comey, longtime experience in the Department of Justice, could handle himself well.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pressed Sessions about Comey’s account of that meeting, as well as the former FBI director’s description of how Sessions responded to his concerns. Sessions acknowledged that Comey came to speak with him and express concerns the following day, but the attorney general that he remained silent in response. He stood by his own recollection Tuesday.

“I think I described it more completely, correctly,” Sessions said.

“I agreed with him essentially that there are rules on private conversations with the president,” Sessions said. “But there’s not a prohibition on a private discussion with the president, as I believe he’s acknowledged six or more himself with President Obama and President Trump.”

Noting that Comey did not elaborate on what was discussed in the meeting, Sessions added, “I had no doubt that he would not yield to any pressure.”



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