Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in hot water over revelations that he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice last year, despite seeming to have said twice that no such meetings took place. Sessions’s defense hinges on the idea that the meetings had nothing to do with the 2016 campaign or with his work as a Trump adviser, but related instead to his status as a US senator and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
One problem here: Of the 26 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, 25 of them told the Washington Post they had zero meetings with Kislyak in 2016.
We reached all 26 members of the 2016 Armed Services Committee to see who met with Russian envoy Kislyak in 2016. Sessions was the only one.— Adam Entous (@adamentous) March 2, 2017
Obviously that doesn’t prove anything on its own. But the timing of Sessions’s meetings with Kislyak also call Sessions’s story into question. One was a chat after a Heritage Foundation event held concurrently with the Republican National Convention in Cleveland — the whole point of conventions is to talk about the campaign. The other happened on September 8 — the day after Trump delivered widely panned remarks praising Vladimir Putin at an NBC forum hosted by Matt Lauer.
Trump maintains, as of Thursday afternoon, that he has full confidence in Sessions, though Sessions has agreed to recuse himself from any investigation. But Trump also professed full confidence in Michael Flynn just hours before Flynn was fired for lying about his own talks with Kislyak.