Jeff Sessions wants his testimony open to public

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on investigations into possible contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russia (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he wants his testimony before the Senate intelligence committee to be open to the public.

The Justice Department says Sessions has requested Tuesday’s committee hearing be open because he “believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him.”

The Justice Department says Sessions looks forward to answering the committee’s questions.

Sessions faces questions about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential campaign. He recused himself in March from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice last year with the ambassador. He had told lawmakers at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

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8:15 a.m.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says testimony from former FBI Director James Comey “reflected very poorly on members of the Obama administration as well.”

On “Fox & Friends” Monday, Conway noted Comey’s testimony that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama’s attorney general, directed him to describe the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s email practices as a “matter” and to avoid calling it an investigation.

Conway stressed that Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has said there should be further investigation.

Conway also said Comey’s testimony showed President Donald Trump was not under investigation.

Comey testified that the FBI investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign did not extend to Trump himself during the time Comey was leading the FBI. That investigation continues, as do congressional inquiries.

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7:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, says her father felt “vindicated” and “incredibly optimistic” following fired FBI Director James Comey’s congressional testimony last week.

In an interview Monday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Ivanka Trump says political life still surprises her and that “there is a level of viciousness I was not expecting.”

When asked what she thought of Comey’s testimony, in which he said Trump suggested he drop a probe into former National Security adviser Michael Flynn’s Russia contacts, Ivanka Trump said her father felt “very vindicated…and feels incredibly optimistic.”

She added: “With all the noise, with all the intensity of the media coverage and obviously what makes headlines, ultimately we’re really focused on why the American people elected Donald Trump as their president.” She said she’s trying to keep her focus on helping her father change the status quo.

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3:54 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing to face former Senate colleagues over his role in the controversy around ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. It’s part of an escalating investigation into charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.

Sessions is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence committee and was due for sharp questioning. It is not yet known whether the hearing will be public or closed.

Fellow Republicans, meanwhile, pressed Trump to come clean about whether he has tapes of private conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey and provide them to Congress if he does – or possibly face a subpoena.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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