“I’ve always told the truth,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions insisted before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, pushing back at “false charges” about his previous testimonies. The attorney general is facing questions this morning about the integrity of the Justice Department.
Last month, it was discovered that former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopolous was indicted by the FBI for lying about his Russian contacts and having suggested to the Trump campaign that they meet. The media had a field day with the report because it got them one step closer to proving "Russian collusion." President Trump has dismissed Papadopoulos as a "low-level volunteer" and his attorney general said he batted down any attempts on his part to get them to meet with Russian officials.
Sessions had “no recollection” of the meeting in question at Trump Tower last year until these news reports, he explained. He now recalls it, but is blanking on the details, chalking it up to the rigors of the campaign.
“None of you had a card in the Trump campaign,” Sessions noted to the panel. It was a “brilliant” campaign, but it was “a form of chaos” every day from day one. Sleep, he said, was in “short supply.” With that context, Sessions said the panel can’t expect him to remember details from specific meetings from a year ago.
Yet, Sessions said he “believes” that he wanted to make clear to Papadopoulos that he was not authorized to represent the campaign, especially as it pertained to his Russian contacts. He “pushed back” at Papadopoulos’s suggestion they meet with Russian representatives, which he thought was “improper.”
“I would gladly have reported it had I remembered it,” Sessions said.
Again, he reiterated his integrity.
“I reject accusations that I have ever lied,” he said. That is a lie.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) accepted Sessions's explanation that he shot down Papadopolous's request, but he was concerned if Sessions took any further steps to prevent Trump campaign advisors from advising them to meet with Russians. Sessions said no, because he didn't believe there were any such contacts.