Transcript for Special counsel questioned Jeff Sessions about James Comey's firing: Sources
We turn next tonight to the major development in the Russia investigation. The special counsel, for the first time, questioning a member of president trump's cabinet. Interviewing attorney general Jeff sessions. Sessions, we have learned, was questioned for hours about his contacts, his conversations with the Russians during the campaign. And tonight here, we are also learning what Mueller wants to ask the president about, two key issues. Here's ABC's senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas tonight. Reporter: Tonight, we have learned the special counsel's Russia investigation has reached right into president trump's own cabinet. Attorney general Jeff sessions questioned for hours by Robert rueller's team. Mr. President, are you concerned about what the attorney general told the special counsel? No, I'm not at all concerned. Reporter: Sessions, the first member of trump's cabinet to be interviewed by Robert Mueller, has faced scrutiny since giving what critics say was misleading testimony in his senate confirmation, telling lawmakers he had no contact with Russians when he was a senior adviser on the trump campaign. I did not have any communications with the Russians. Reporter: That was not true. Sessions had several conversations with the Russian ambassador and when they became public -- I have recused myself -- Reporter: -- The attorney general recused himself from the Russia probe. I am disappointed in the attorney general. If he was going to recuse himself, he should've told me prior to taking office and I would've, quite simply, picked somebody else. Reporter: Sources tell ABC news Mueller's team questioned sessions about those conversations with the ambassador and his own role in the trump campaign. Here he is at a meeting of the candidate's foreign policy team, just one seat away from campaign adviser George papadopoulos. Papadopoulos, who is cooperating with Mueller's probe, says he offered to arrange a meeting between trump and Vladimir Putin. Sessions said he didn't remember. I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said at that meeting. Reporter: But the attorney general then recalling his on response. There are reports that you "Shut George down" unquote when he proposed that meeting with Putin. Is this correct, yes or no? Yes. I pushed back. Reporter: Sources tell ABC news Mueller's team also questioned sessions about the firing of former FBI director James Comey. And tonight, we're learning that Comey reportedly sat down himself with the special counsel's team late last year. The focus of that interview, a series of Coe mmeycomey's memos he wrote documenting what he found to be troubling requests from the president. I said, you know, this Russia thing with trump and Russia is a made-up story. Pierre Thomas with us live tonight. In the meantime, Pierre, the president has claimed top FBI officials are biased against him. Tonight, we're learning of pressure on the new FBI director to replace his own deputy? Reporter: Yes, David. Sources tell us that the attorney general has been urging director WRAY to remove his senior leadership, to basically clean house. But we're told that director WRAY has pushed back, saying the decision is his and his alone, David. Pierre Thomas with us here in New York. Pierre, thank you. As I mentioned, we have also learned tonight of two key issues Robert Mueller would like to ask president trump about. So, let's get right to our chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl, who is here in New York with us tonight. What are you learning? Reporter: We know that two of the issues that Mueller wants to focus on are the firing of James Comey and the firing of Michael Flynn. But I got to tell you, David, there is no guarantee this interview will happen, in fact, I think this could become a big fight. I have spoken to people very close to the president who say that he should do everything he should -- everything possible to stop this interview from happening, that it could be a disaster, even though he told me back in June he would be 100% willing to do it. Yes, we remember that. And in the meantime, you heard the president today saying about recei Jeff sessions being interviewed, that he's not concerned. What are you learning from your sources inside the white house? Reporter: Well, the president's legal team feel like this is another sign that Mueller is wrapping up his investigation, he's getting to the final phases, but this is also an indication that Mueller is getting very close to the president, David. He is leaving no stone unturned. Jon Karl with us in New York. Good to have you here for a change.
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