Some Democrats grew impatient, warning Sessions was stonewalling on vital issues.
While he had recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, Sessions said, "I did not recuse myself from defending my honour against scurrilous and false allegations".
"I was your colleague in this body for 20 years, and the suggestion that I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honor over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process is an appalling and detestable lie", he said.
He opened his testimony with a fiery assertion that he never had any conversations with Russians about "any type of interference" in the 2016 presidential election.
When asked to explain why he wrongly claimed in his confirmation hearing that he never met with Russians, Sessions said he was flustered by the question from Sen. That meeting resulted in a picture, featuring her sitting at a table with Kislyak.
Sessions testified that he never been briefed about the USA intelligence community's finding in October 2016 that Russian Federation sought to influence the outcome of the US election. He did allow for the possibility the men could have had a brief interaction "in passing" at a well-attended reception at the Mayflower Hotel before an April 2016 foreign policy speech by then-candidate Trump.
"I do not", Sessions said when asked whether he knows whether the president records his conversations.
FILE- In this September 6, 2013, file photo, Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the US speaks with reporters at the Center for the National Interest in Washington. He was obviously angry about some of the claims made by James Comey and the "secret innuendo" being thrown against him.
And in the game of he-said, he-said between Trump and Comey, the president's history hands the victory to the G-man, hands down.
When Comey admitted that he is a leaker, having used a law professor buddy to send his "Dear Diary" worries on President Trump to The New York Times, we at last had a poster boy for the Trump haters who were anonymously directing the narrative that dominated the media.
Senate GOP, Dems agree on new sanctions on Russia
The president has said he hopes he can forge closer ties with Moscow - a goal unlikely to be met with sanctions in place. Schumer (D-N.Y.) took to the floor to praise the deal.
Many of those who posted the picture noted that Sessions was speaking to Kislyak, making it seem as if Sessions was purposely lying about not speaking to Kislyak or not remembering the meeting, but in the photo, the Russian ambassador was actually seated several rows away from Sessions.
Why? Because he personally recused himself from all things related to the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation the day after he was sworn into office. Christopher Wray, the assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, told Comey, "Before you guys all pull the rip cords, please give me a head's up so I can jump with you". A concurrent probe is also ongoing in the House.
Sessions also pushed back against Comey's suggestion he may have failed to take appropriate steps to protect the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief from political pressure.
A friend of former FBI Director James Comey says he's turning over any memos of Comey's conversations with President Donald Trump in his possession to the FBI, MSNBC reports. "Mr. Comey well knew them, I thought and assumed, correctly, that he complied with them".
Democratic senators have seized on the possibility of a third meeting to suggest that Sessions has not been forthcoming about the extent of his communications with the ambassador.
He said Sessions had a right to either answer, ask for a private hearing, or invoke executive privilege.
Comey, who was sacked by Trump last month, said in congressional testimony last week that he gave a memo describing his conversations with Trump to a close friend and told him to share its contents with a reporter.
SESSIONS: I did not do so.
"I am not stonewalling", Sessions replied, saying he was simply following Justice Department policy not to discuss confidential communications with the president.