Sessions spoke twice with Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential campaign Justice officials say

Sessions spoke twice with Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential campaign Justice officials say

The Washington Post ^ | February 28, 2017 | Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.

One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.

The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself.

When Sessions spoke with Kislyak in July and September, the senator was a senior member of the influential Armed Services Committee as well as one of Trump’s top foreign policy advisers. Sessions played a prominent role supporting Trump on the stump after formally joining the campaign in February 2016.

At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Here we presumably have more leaks. These officials are anonymous, and Sessions is head of The Justice Department.  Whoever leaked this from the Justice Department would have known prior to confirmations, right? They bring it out now for max potential scandal. Either that or folks in the justice department are digging around looking for something to bring down Sessions. This is clearly an Obama/establishment holdover.

At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign.

“I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

When he said that to Sen. Al Franken, I think he was referring to discussions with regard to the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Officials said Sessions did not consider the conversations relevant to the lawmakers’ questions and did not remember in detail what he discussed with Kislyak.

Consider this question asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy:

In January, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Sessions for answers to written questions. “Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?” Leahy wrote.

The question asked if he had been in contact with anyone in the Russian government ABOUT the election. Answering that as "No" is completely honest if he wasn't discussing the election.

Justice officials said Sessions met with Kislyak on Sept. 8 in his capacity as a member of the armed services panel rather than in his role as a Trump campaign surrogate.

“He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign — not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee,” Flores said.

That is the point I made.

She added that Sessions last year had more than 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian and German ambassadors, in addition to Kislyak.

In the case of the September meeting, one department official who came to the defense of the attorney general said, “There’s just not strong recollection of what was said.”

When you come in contact with that many ambassadors, it's doubtful you'll remember the exact conversations - many which probably contain a lot of banalities.

The Washington Post contacted all 26 members of the 2016 Senate Armed Services Committee to see if any lawmakers besides Sessions met with Kislyak in 2016. Of the 19 lawmakers who responded, every senator, including chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), said they did not meet with the Russian ambassador last year. The other lawmakers on the panel did not respond as of Wednesday evening.

“Members of the committee have not been beating a path to Kislyak’s door,” a senior Senate Armed Services Committee staffer said, citing tensions in relations with Moscow. Besides Sessions, the staffer added, “There haven’t been a ton of members who are looking to meet with Kislyak for their committee duties.”

Of course, relations with Moscow are bad right now, and Sessions is one of the few people who wants to work on better relations instead of continuing down a path of hostility towards a nuclear power.

Two months before the September meeting, Sessions attended a Heritage Foundation event in July on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention that was attended by roughly 50 ambassadors. When the event was over, a small group of ambassadors approached Sessions as he was leaving the podium, and Kislayk was among them, the Justice Department official said.

Sessions then spoke individually to some of the ambassadors, including Kislyak, the official said. In the informal exchanges, the ambassadors expressed appreciation for his remarks and some of them invited him to events they were sponsoring, said the official, citing a former Sessions staffer who was at the event.

This is the second scandalous meeting? He spoke to some of the ambassadors informally after they approached him an event? I seriously doubt they had some big discussion about Russia hacking Podesta's emails to expose Hillary's corruption in order that she might win the popular vote while losing the electoral among blue collar voters in states that Hillary neglected to campaign in.

Elijah Cummings is already calling for Sessions to resign. I doubt that will happen, but the media may get their wish of a special prosecutor which is what even McCain/Graham/Issa are calling for. The media would love to scalp Sessions. They got Flynn unjustifiably. They have blood in the water. Trump had to know they wouldn't stop with Flynn.

The media continues the drumbeat of the Russia narrative. McCain/Graham and Hillary/Democrats obviously want to continue to ramp up hostility with Russia. Hillary Clinton said she would treat cyber attacks as actual attacks, thus meaning the email thing would be treated the same as a physical attack on this country. (For the record, they have never proven to me the Russians were involved in that matter - that intelligence report which spent pages droning on about RT proved nothing.) She also wanted a no fly zone in Syria which could have led to a shooting war with Russia. Both of these could have led to WWIII.

This Russia stuff is nonsense in my opinion, but the media, Dems, and establishment Reps are hoping they can find something to try to impeach Trump. Do you honestly see the Dems investigating one of their own like this - calling for a special prosecutor? Hell, Lynch didn't even fully recuse herself after meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac. No! The Reps always stab their own in the back and virtue signal to the media and Dems. Of course, it is worse this time because establishment Reps would like to replace Trump. They don't care a thing about the voters.

I also want to know, if we are truly having a FAIR investigation into Russia and the election, why aren't we looking at both candidates? If Trump had the ties to Russia Hillary has, they'd probably want to impeach him already. Just look at these ties Hillary and her team had to Russia. It ticks me off so badly this is ignored:


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