WASHINGTON – Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions denied Tuesday that he ever lied or misled Congress about his communications with or about Russia while he was working for the presidential campaign of now-President Donald J. Trump..
“I would like to address the false charges made about my previous testimony,” Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee. “My answers have never changed. I have always told the truth, and I have answered every question as I understood them and to the best of my recollection, as I will continue to do today.”
Democrats have challenged Session’s veracity since the guilty plea last month of George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign worker who proposed to arrange a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-candidate Donald J. Trump. Another campaign aide, Carter Page, has told members of Congress that he told Sessions about Papadopoulos’ actions.
“I would like to address recent news reports regarding meetings during the campaign attended by George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, among others. Frankly, I had no recollection of this until I saw these news reports,” Sessions testified. “I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said during that meeting.
“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. But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago, and would gladly have reported it.
“As for Mr. Page, while I do not challenge his recollection, I have no memory of his presence at a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club or any passing conversation he may have had with me as he left,” Sessions testified.
Sessions added: “Let me be clear: I have at all times conducted myself honorably and in a manner consistent with the high standards and responsibilities of the Office of Attorney General. As I said before, my story has never changed. I have always told the truth, and I have answered every question to the best of my recollection as I will continue to do today.”