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Sessions says he was never briefed on Russian interference

Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions hasn’t sought any information on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he said.

In his testimony Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sessions -- the U.S.’s chief law enforcement officer -- told Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, that he has not read the consensus report from US intelligence agencies on Russian meddling and has not sought any briefings.

King mentioned a memo from October in which the U.S. Intelligence Community wrote that they were confident that the Russian government were responsible for government email hacks and that those “thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.” He also mentioned a report issued by the Intelligence Community in January that described Russian interference activities in more detail. Sessions said he did not read these reports.

Here is the full transcript of his exchange with King:

KING: Do you believe the Russians interfered with the 2016 elections?

SESSIONS: It appears so. The intelligence community seems to be united in that, but I have to tell you, Senator King, I know nothing but what I've read in the paper. I've never received any detail, briefing on how hacking occurred or how information was alleged to have influenced the campaigns.

KING: Between the election, there was a memorandum from the intelligence community on October 9th, that detailed what the Russians were doing after the election, before the inauguration. You never sought any information about this rather dramatic attack on our country?


KING: You never asked for a briefing or attended a briefing or read the intelligence reports?

SESSIONS: You might have been very critical if I as an active part of the campaign was seeking intelligence relating to something that might be relevant to the campaign. I'm not sure that --

KING: I'm not talking about the campaign. I'm talking about what the Russians did. You received no briefing on the Russian active measures in connection with the 2016 election.

SESSIONS: No, I don't believe I ever did.

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