Trump has memory lapse over meeting about Russian officials

Trump has memory lapse over meeting about Russian officials

Then-Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who was chairman of the advisory committee and sat opposite Trump, ultimately nixed Papadopoulos' proposal, sources first told TheDC back in August.

He said one person was a "senior person", but he would not reveal the person's identity.

Asked about his initial testimony at a hearing last month, Sessions again told Franken he did not communicate with Russians.

But on Thursday, a person familiar with Sessions' recollections said that "people who remember the conversation" believed that Papadopoulos was proposing an idea of using his Russian contacts to try to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin, "which was immediately rejected by then-Senator Sessions". However, news reports from March revealed that Sessions had met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the lead up to the 2016 USA presidential election.

During the closed-door House testimony Thursday, the email was read aloud.

In it, Papadopoulos said he was taking steps "to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S. -Russia ties under President Trump", according to court records.

In addition to Leahy and Blumenthal, Senators Al Franken (Minn.) and Chuck Schumer (NY) are calling for the attorney general to testify.

"Back in June 2016, I mentioned in passing that I happened to be planning to give a speech at a university in Moscow", Page told CNN.

Asked who else was informed, Page played coy, saying, "It will come out".




Senator Al Franken, whose exchange with Sessions in January has prompted a continuing dispute, said in a letter to Sessions on Thursday that the Papadopoulos revelations are "another example in an alarming pattern in which you, the nation's top law enforcement officer, apparently failed to tell the truth, under oath, about the Trump team's contacts with agents of Russian Federation".

Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 in Republican leadership who serves on the intelligence and judiciary panels, said he was unaware of Sessions' attendance at that meeting until now.

"It might be worth writing a letter and saying 'What happened?' I wouldn't mind writing a letter, because he was pretty definitive he never had that discussion about Russia", Graham of SC said in an interview.

A Justice spokesperson declined to comment.

The committee has asked Page to produce more documents, according to members, to comply with the subpoena they previously issued. "If I were Sessions, I wouldn't have recalled it either".

Sessions responded, but by answering a completely different question. He was not aware of any continuous exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for Russian government as Sen.

"Ultimately, whether or not he committed perjury, will be again, I believe, Bob Mueller's call", Franken said. Some members said his testimony will help move the investigation forward, though Page told the committee that the Trump campaign made him sign a non-disclosure agreement.

But he downplayed the significance of the meetings, telling the Times he had "a very brief hello to a couple of people".

Related Articles