1. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina:
"First, if that's the main reason the president wanted to fire him (James Comey) -- his jumping into the email investigation and taking it over in an unprecedented way, which I agree with you, why did it take so long?"
2. UPSOUND (English) Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
UPSOUND (English) Sen. Graham: "No, the firing." (long silence by Sessions)
UPSOUND (English) Attorney General Jeff Sessions: "You mean why did the president..."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Graham:
"We knew -- the president knew, when he was inaugurated that Comey jumped into the middle of the Clinton email investigation, took the job of the attorney general over. If that's the main reason he was fired, why did he wait so long to fire Comey?"
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
"Well, I'm not sure he ever grasped the full import of that."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Al Franken, (D) Minnesota:
"The goal post has been moved. First it was 'I did not have communications with Russians,' which was not true. Then it was 'I never met with any Russians to discuss any political campaign,' which may or may not be true. Now it's 'I did not discuss interference in the campaign,' which further narrows your initial blanket denial about meeting with the Russians."
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
"Well let me just say this without hesitation -- that I conducted no improper discussions with the Russians at any time regarding a campaign or any other item facing this country. I want to say that first. And that's been the suggestion that you've raised and others -- that it was somehow we had conversations that were improper."
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
"And I'm disappointed. Yes, you can say what you want to about the accuracy of it, but I think it was a good faith response to a dramatic event at the time and I don't think it's fair for you to suggest otherwise."
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Al Franken, (D) Minnesota:
"That to me is moving the goal posts every time and we're starting off with an extra point. And by the end, we're going to, you know, a 75 yard field goal."
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
"So now, everything else -- so now you take that to say if I ever met with a Russian, I've not been candid with the committee and I reject that."
Democratic Sen. Al Franken is accusing Attorney General Jeff Sessions of "moving the goal posts" in denying his interactions with the Russian ambassador.
In a testy exchange, Franken confronted Sessions about his testimony in January, in which he said he had no communications with Russians. Sessions later had to recuse himself from the Justice Department's investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia after it was revealed he had conversations with the ambassador. Franken says his explanations of those interactions continue to change.
But Sessions, visibly frustrated and voice rising, called Franken's line of questioning unfair. He says he answered the question as a surrogate of the Trump campaign. Sessions says he may have discussed Trump's campaign positions with the ambassador but insists he did not have a continuing exchange of information with him.
Sessions also says he has not been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators.
Mueller has been investigating potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March, before Mueller was appointed, but he is seen as a possible witness because of his involvement in the May firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, asked Sessions if he had been interviewed. Sessions at first told Leahy that he would have to ask Mueller that question, but then later answered the question by saying no.
The Associated Press and other news organizations have reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has spoken to Mueller's team.