Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

The Washington Post reports: Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he has no recollection of an April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Sessions has said repeatedly that he never discussed campaign-related issues with Russian officials and that it was only in his capacity as a U.S. senator that he met with Kislyak.

“I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign,” Sessions said in March when he announced that he would recuse himself from matters relating to the FBI probe of Russian interference in the election and any connections to the Trump campaign.

Current and former U.S. officials said that assertion is at odds with Kislyak’s accounts of conversations during two encounters over the course of the campaign, one in April ahead of Trump’s first major foreign policy speech and another in July on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.

The apparent discrepancy could pose new problems for Sessions at a time when his position in the administration appears increasingly tenuous. [Continue reading…]

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Comments

  1. Dieter Heymann says:

    This is like a Shakespearean drama. The Trump campaign was Trump’s fiefdom which he ran like a property. There can be no doubt that Sessions and Flynn had discussed with Trump what they could and what they could not offer Putin via the Russian ambassador in Washington as a come-on for a reset of relationships with Russia if Trump was elected.
    Sessions and Flynn can bring Trump into serious trouble. If only one of them testifies that he had discussed with Trump what to offer the Russians Trump could deny. It would be his word against that of Sessions or Flynn. It would be much more difficult to deny both.
    There can be no doubt that Trump Jr. and Kushner had discussed his meeting with Trump but they will not rat on him.

  2. Dieter Heymann says:

    Significant: no fake news tweet!

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