During a line of questioning from Franken in that January hearing, Sessions was asked what he would do as attorney general if he found evidence that “anyone affiliated with the Russian government” communicated with the Trump campaign through the election. Sessions said he was unaware of any such activities and insisted he “did not have communications with the Russians.”
It was later reported that Sessions had a handful of conversations during the campaign with the Russian ambassador to the US at the time, Sergey Kislyak. As a result, Sessions recused himself from all matters related to the Trump campaign and insisted he did not attempt to mislead the committee.
“This allegation that a surrogate — and I had been called a surrogate for Donald Trump — had been meeting continuously with Russian officials, and that’s what I — it struck me very hard, and that’s what I focused my answer on,” Session said on Wednesday in response to a question from Franken. “And in retrospect, I should have slowed down and said, ‘But I did meet one Russian official a couple of times, and that would be the ambassador.'”
Franken later said that “it’s hard to come to any other conclusion than he just perjured himself.” On Wednesday, he sought to push Sessions hard on that January exchange and Sessions’ subsequent answers.
Sessions pushed back equally hard.
Franken said that once Sessions was confronted with the reports, he began to change his answer about whether he communicated with Russians.
“So again, the goalpost has been moved,” Franken said. “First, it was ‘I did not have communications with Russians,’ which was not true. Then it was ‘I never met with any Russians to discuss any political campaign,’ which may or may not be true. Now it’s ‘I did not discuss interference in the campaign,’ which further narrows your initial blanket denial about meeting with the Russians.
“Since you have qualified your denial to say that you did not ‘discuss issues of the campaign with Russians,’ what in your view constitutes issues of the campaign?” he said.
Sessions responded that he could say “without hesitation” that he “conducted no improper discussions with Russians at any time regarding a campaign or any other item facing this country.”
Go read the rest.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) October 18, 2017