Burr Dodges On Whether Comey Briefed Senators On Sessions-Russia Contact

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March 2, 2017 12:32 p.m.
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Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on Thursday dodged questions on whether FBI Director James Comey briefed members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Attorney General Jeff Session’s contact with Russia’s ambassador to the United States before the election.

“Are you suggesting you’ve got something that says that Comey knew?” Burr said. “I don’t get into discussions we have with the director of the FBI.”

Burr said it would be “highly unusual” for the FBI to “look into senators’ private meetings on the Hill with anybody.”

Sessions denied during his confirmation hearing in January that he had “communications with Russians.” On Thursday, however, Sessions’ spokeswoman confirmed that Sessions met twice with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before the election.

Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asserted in January that he would not investigate advisers to Trump’s campaign.

“That’s not our role,” he said at the time. “We don’t have any authority to go to any campaign and request information that one would need to do an investigation.”

Two days later, the committee announced that it would investigate the involvement of Russian intelligence agencies in the 2016 election. Comey met with the committee in February.

Asked on Thursday if he thought Session should recuse himself from an investigation into ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, Burr said: “I think the committee should do its job.”

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