Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified that he “now recalls” a meeting where he discussed a Trump campaign adviser’s contacts with Russia and cited the “chaos” of the campaign as the reason he forgot.
Sessions previously testified that there were no communications with the Russians and the Trump campaign.
We know that to be a lie because George Papadopoulos, a former campaign foreign policy adviser who worked directly below Sessions, admitted in his guilty plea for lying to the FBI that he communicated the details of his interactions with Russian agents to Sessions, Trump, and top campaign aides.
Testifying Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Sessions blamed his selective amnesia on the “chaos” of the campaign.
“All of you have been in a campaign. But most of you have not participated in a presidential campaign. And none of you had a part in the Trump campaign. It was a brilliant campaign, I think, in many ways, but it was a form of chaos every day from day one,” Sessions said. “We traveled sometimes to several places in one day. Sleep was in short supply, and I was still a full time senator with a very full schedule.”
Sessions said he now remembers the 2016 meeting where Papadopoulos suggested setting up a meeting between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
“I do now recall that the March 2016 meeting at the Trump hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said at that meeting,” Sessions said. “But I did not recall this event which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago. And I would gladly have reported it had I remembered it, because I pushed back against his suggestion that I thought may have been improper.”
“I had no recollection of this meeting until I saw these news reports,” he added. “After reading his account, and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter.”
He insisted that though his statement was completely false, he never lied under oath.
“In all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer all of your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory. But I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied under oath. That is a lie,” he said. “I have at all time conducted myself honorably … I’ve always told the truth.”
Sessions insisted, however, that he does not recall his interactions with foreign policy adviser Carter Page about Russia.
Page, who traveled to Moscow and met with Russian officials during the campaign, told the House Intelligence Committee last week, “I mentioned it briefly to Senator Sessions as I was walking out the door. I forget the exact date, but it was the Thursday night before I flew to Moscow to give my speech. So I mentioned it to him in passing … as we were walking out the door.”
Sessions replied to a question about the exchange by claiming, “while I do not challenge his account, I have no recollection” of speaking with him.
Looks like someone’s going to need yet another follow up in front of Congress.
Watch the clip below: