Jeff Sessions goes on the attack: Russia collusion allegations are an “appalling and detestable lie”

In much-anticipated testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee this afternoon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vigorously denied that anything “improper” happened in his two meetings with Russian officials, disputed reports that he had a third meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., last year, and emphasized that he never met with or talked to Russians about any interference in the U.S. election.

Some key quotes:

• The allegations of collusions with Russia are an “appalling and detestable lie.”

• He says he was taken aback by Senator Al Franken’s “rambling question” at his January confirmation hearing about meetings with Russians.

“Let me state this clearly, colleagues, I have never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or any 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.”

Here is the livestream of the hearing: