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Jeff Sessions responded to criticism of the FBI -- here's what he said
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions participates in the opening session of the Administration at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) at the International Finance Corporation Auditorium December 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Jeff Sessions responded to criticism of the FBI -- here's what he said

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took some time during an immigration speech to address criticism from Congress on Friday.

Sessions avoided talking specifically about the controversy surrounding two FBI officials who worked on the Russia investigation and exchanged disparaging text messages about President Donald Trump.

What Sessions said

“My purpose every day is to get the department back to its fundamental mission of enforcing the law and protecting the safety of Americans with integrity and fairness. That’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and that is what my team works hard at every day.”

Sessions proclaimed his department’s commitment to “absolutely eliminating political bias and favoritism — in either direction — from our investigations and prosecutions.”

“We don’t see criticism from the Congress as a bad thing. We welcome Congress as a partner in this effort. When they learn of a problem and start asking questions, that is a good thing. Sunlight truly is the best disinfectant. Truth produces confidence.”

“While we are open to fair criticism, we will of course defend our investigators and prosecutors from criticism that is unfair.”

Questioning the FBI’s integrity

The revelation of potentially anti-Trump FBI officials investigating the president for collusion with Russia during the campaign has put Sessions in the difficult position of trying to defend his department and while not harming his relationship with Trump.

So, Sessions acknowledged that his department was not without flaws.

"A culture of defensiveness is not acceptable," Sessions said. "The Department of Justice does not always know what's best, and it is not perfect."

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