Trump presidential campaign aide George Papadopoulos 'suggested setting up Putin meeting'

Posted November 05, 2017

The backdrop: The news comes as Sessions is already under scrutiny over a report that he "shut down" a request from George Papadopoulos, another campaign foreign policy adviser, to arrange a meeting between campaign officials and Vladimir Putin. Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat, accused him of failing "to tell the truth about your interactions with Russian operatives during the campaign".

During his January confirmation hearing to become attorney general, Sessions told the Judiciary Committee that he had had no communication with Russian officials, only to have The Washington Post reveal in March that he had spoken twice with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

Sessions' failure to disclose those meetings ultimately led to his recusal from the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation, and functioned as one of the many missteps that triggered the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Sessions, who as a Republican senator served as a top foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, testified in January that he wasn't aware of any campaign contacts with Russian Federation. "I'm really not involved with the Justice Department". "He said Sessions did not react or comment one way or the other", Conaway told CNN. He also testified that he was "not aware" of anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicating with the Russians.

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"Throughout the campaign and in the first nine months of President Trump's administration, his base has supported him regardless of what he says or does", he said.

The person familiar with Sessions' activity during the campaign said his testimony has been truthful and consistent.

Reported testimony from former campaign policy adviser Carter Page only adds to questions about what Sessions knew.

At the time of that article, a spokeswoman for Sessions declined to comment.

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Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., another member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Sessions to return to Capitol Hill. "If I were Sessions, I wouldn't have recalled it either".

According to aides to Sessions who weren't authorized to speak publicly about the matter, the attorney general did not give false testimony and disputes any description of the March 31 meeting that suggests Papadopoulos informed those present that he was in contact with the Russian government. He was not aware of any continuous exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for Russian government as Sen.

While Democrats made clear that the Papadopoulos revelations raise new questions about whether Sessions told the truth to Congress, there was little indication they'd pursue the politically and legally uncertain possibility that the nation's top law enforcement official could be prosecuted for perjury.

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