Sessions Didn't Disclose Talks With Russian Ambassador: DOJ
But his spokesperson insists they had nothing to do with Trump campaign
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2017 12:01 AM CST
In this Feb. 28, 2017, photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions pauses while speaking at the National Association of Attorneys General annual winter meeting in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – Jeff Sessions spoke with Russia's ambassador to the US twice in 2016, but he didn't disclose those communications during his confirmation hearing to become attorney general. When asked about possible contact between Moscow representatives and Trump campaign members, Sessions specifically said he "did not have communications with the Russians" during the campaign and that he was "not aware of" any other campaign members doing so. Per the Washington Post, the revelation from Justice Department officials could spark more calls from Congress to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Russia's alleged attempts to interfere with the 2016 election. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal US investigators have looked into the newly released contacts between Sessions and Russia, though it's not clear whether the investigation has concluded. Following the disclosure of the conversations, Sessions said he "never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign," per the AP.

One of the conversations between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak happened in September, when Sessions, then a senator, was a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and one of Trump's top advisers; officials say Sessions didn't remember the details of his conversations with Kislyak by the time his confirmation hearing came around, and that the meeting was related to Sessions' work on the armed services panel, not the Trump campaign. Sessions' spokesperson says there was nothing "misleading" about his answers at the confirmation hearing because he was only asked about communications related to the campaign, not to his work as a senator. Following the latest revelations, top Democrats have called for Sessions to step down as AG, Mediaite reports. Republicans are split on whether Sessions should lead any potential probe into Russia's alleged election tampering. A conversation with Kislyak is also what forced Michael Flynn to step down as Trump's national security adviser.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
11%
14%
8%
4%
38%
26%