Sessions Testifies About Meeting With Campaign Advisers on Russia

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions waits for the beginning of a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee November 14, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Sessions faced questions from lawmakers again on whether he had contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign last year. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions faced a barrage of questions about newly reported conversations he had with two Trump campaign advisers relating to connections with Russia during the 2016 election.

During Sessions' opening statement to the House Judiciary Oversight Committee, the Attorney General says he did not remember former Trump aides George Papadopoulous and Carter Page informing him about their potential contacts with Kremlin-linked personnel. 

Papadopolous is the first Trump campaign official to face criminal charges. The former campaign aide pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts he had with foreign nationals. 

Sessions denied that he lied in October when he testified that he didn't know of anyone in the Trump campaign that had contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign. 

Court records indicate that Sessions led a 2016 meet during which George Papadopoulos, an aide for the campaign, discussed his ties with Russia and suggested setting up a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin. 

Sessions said he had no memory of the meeting until he saw the news reports and that he was still hazy on what Papadopoulos had said. 

However, the Attorney General said he does recalling shooting down Papadopoulos' idea for the Trump-Putin meet-up. 

Closing out his opening remarks, Sessions said that he took issue with the idea that he lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding what he knew about the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia. 

"I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied. That is a lie. Let me be clear, I have at all times conducted myself honorably and in a manner consistent with the high standards and responsibilities of the office of attorney general which I revere.

I spent 15 years in that department. I love that department. I honor that department. And will do my dead level best to be worthy of your attorney general. Right as I said before, my story has never changed.

I've always told the truth. And I've answered every question to the best of my recollection and I will continue to do so today."


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