Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Senate Dems demand Sessions clarify testimony on Russian Federation

Sam Clovis is the nominee for the USDA's undersecretary for research education and economics Sam Clovis is the nominee for the USDA's undersecretary for research education and economics. Courtesy of Iowans for Sam Clovis
Edmund Wade | 06 November, 2017, 00:27

A source told NBC on Thursday night that Sessions rejected Papadopoulos' proposal to set up a meeting between then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Reported testimony from former campaign policy adviser Carter Page only adds to questions about what Sessions knew.

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The person familiar with Sessions' interactions with Papadopoulos said that Sessions had been "entirely truthful and consistent on this matter" and that "he had no knowledge of any conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign with any Russian or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States".

Also on Thursday, former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page told Congress in a six-hour, closed-door testimony that he told Sessions he was traveling to Russian Federation during the presidential campaign, according to an account he gave to CNN. Jeff Sessions, when he said "he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President [Vladimir] Putin". Other aides were wary of the idea before Sessions himself "spoke vehemently against the idea" and asked others not to discuss it, the Times reported earlier this week. Patrick Leahy, a member of the committee, said.

In an eight-page letter to Sessions on Thursday, Senator Al Franken recalled that the attorney general said at an October 18 Judiciary Committee hearing that a continuing exchange between the Trump campaign and Russian government intermediaries "did not happen, at least not to my knowledge and not with me". "As far as Sessions seemed to be concerned, when he shut down this idea of Papadopoulos engaging with Russian Federation, that was the end of it and he moved the meeting along to other issues".

During his January 10 confirmation hearing, Sessions said he was "not aware" of anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign coordinating with the Russian government when asked about such ties by Franken.

It was revealed earlier this week that Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his contacts with a Kremlin-linked professor who boasted that the Russians had "thousands of emails" of dirt on former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBlumenthal: Trump-tied data firm reaching out to WikiLeaks "significant" Tillerson eliminates key State Department sanctions office: report Intel Dem: What's in dossier more important than who paid for it MORE.

"Sessions should come back before [the Senate Judiciary Committee]", Schumer said on The Rachel Maddow Show.

In his traditional Friday appearance on Shepard Smith Reporting, Wallace noted that a new Attorney General might be inclined to get involved in the Russian Federation probe, which Sessions has recused himself from.


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