America’s top law official also told the Senate Intelligence Committee any suggestion he colluded with the Kremlin was “an appalling and detestable lie”. Mr Sessions also repeatedly refused to answer questions about his private conversations with the president.
He vowed to defend his honour “against scurrilous and false allegations”. Mr Sessions’ remarks came after sacked FBI boss James Comey said he believed he was fired to influence the agency’s investigation into Russian political meddling. US intelligence agencies believe that Russia interfered in the election in order to help Republican President Donald Trump get elected.
The Senate committee is of one several congressional panels that, along with a special counsel, is also investigating whether any Trump campaign officials colluded with the alleged Kremlin plot.
Mr Sessions, the country’s top law enforcement official, told the Senate committee he has never received a classified briefing about Russian meddling in last year’s election.
He also vehemently denied speaking to Russian officials about the election, during a campaign in which he was a close adviser to candidate Trump.
“I have never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States,” he said on Tuesday.
He is the most senior member of the Trump administration to testify before the Senate committee.
Vice-Chairman Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat, pressed Mr Sessions about his role in the sacking of Mr Comey. Mr Sessions said he never spoke to the former FBI director, who reports to the US attorney general, about his job performance before Mr Trump fired him in May.
But Mr Sessions did confirm Mr Comey’s assertion that he told the US attorney general that he felt uncomfortable speaking directly to Mr Trump in a one-on-one setting.
Several Democratic senators expressed frustration because Mr Sessions repeatedly refused to answer questions relating to conversations he had with the president, saying they were confidential.
Similar answers were heard last week during testimony from the US intelligence chiefs before the same panel.
US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency chief Admiral Mike Rogers, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were criticised for refusing to respond to some questions in a public hearing.