Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his role in the firing of FBI director James Comey, making some of his most extensive on the issue to date on Wednesday in a Senate hearing dominated by questions related to Russia but also touching on immigration, civil rights and other issues, the Wall Street Journal reports. Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee for five hours, Sessions cited Comey’s public comments that he was not recommending charges related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email use, describing the remarks as a monumental mistake. “I don’t think it has been fully understood, the significance of the error that Mr. Comey made on the Clinton matter,” Sessions said.
Lawmakers from both parties asked about efforts to combat future election meddling by Russia. “Do you think we’re doing enough to prepare for future interference?” asked Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse. Sessions said, “Probably not, we’re not,” adding, “The matter is so complex that most of us, we’re not able to fully grasp the technical dangers that are out there.” Sessions declined to discuss any conversations he has had with President Trump, including about Comey’s firing, to the chagrin of Democrats. He did say he has not been interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.