Jeff Sessions on His Russian Contacts

Quotes by Jeff Sessions on His Russians Contacts During the 2016 Election

THEN
NOW


Jan 2017
March - Oct 2017

Jeff Sessions Russian Contacts Then
Jeff Sessions Russian Contacts Now


Trump Campaign meet with Russians? #JeffSessions 1/10/17: "I did not have communications with the Russians." » #Sessions 3/2/17: "I did meet one Russian official a couple of times, and that would be the ambassador." Click To Tweet

Quotes by Jeff Sessions on His Russians Contacts

THEN

Jan 2017

Jeff Sessions Russian Contacts Then

Sen. Al Franken: “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”

“I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”
- Jan 10, 2017

Senate Attorney General Confirmation Hearing

CNN, Nov 11, 2014
Jeff Sessions' many denials on Russia, explained

(retrieved 7/11/18)
starts at 3:29

Sen. Patrick Leahy: “Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?”

Sessions: “No.”
- Jan 17, 2017

Senate Attorney General Confirmation Questionnaire

U.S. Senate, Jan 17, 2017
Nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General of the United States Questions for the Record (pdf)

(retrieved 7/11/18)

NOW

March – Oct 2017


Context: On March 1, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Jeff Sessions met Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice during the 2016 Presidential campaign. The first interaction was reportedly a brief interaction in July, 2016, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland; the second was a private meeting in September, 2016, in Sessions’ Senate office.1Washington Post, March 1, 2017
Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last year, encounters he later did not disclose
retrieved 7/11/18

Sessions acknowledged that he met twice with the Russian ambassador and altered his story to say he did not discuss campaign issues with Russians:


Jeff Sessions Russian Contacts Now
“I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign.”
March 2, 2017 -

NBC News, March 2, 2017
WATCH: 'I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign.' AG Jeff Sessions tells @NBCNews

(retrieved 7/11/18)
quote starts at 0:28

“I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign.”
March 2, 2017 -

Statement from Jeff Sessions

The Guardian, March 2, 2017
Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russian ambassador during Trump campaign

(retrieved 7/11/18)
“I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign.”
March 2, 2017 -

Jeff Sessions' recusal news conference

Washington Post, March 2, 2017
Transcript of Jeff Sessions’s recusal news conference, annotated

(retrieved 7/11/18)
starts at 0:44

“The Russian ambassador… asked for a meeting… and we met with him.”
March 2, 2017 -

Jeff Sessions' recusal news conference

Washington Post, March 2, 2017
Transcript of Jeff Sessions’s recusal news conference, annotated

(retrieved 7/11/18)
starts at 5:37

“I don’t recall having met [Russian ambassador Kislyak any other times]. It’s possible — I’m on the Armed Services Committee and things happen, but I don’t recall having met him before those two meetings.”
March 2, 2017 -

Jeff Sessions' recusal news conference

Washington Post, March 2, 2017
Transcript of Jeff Sessions’s recusal news conference, annotated

(retrieved 7/11/18)
starts at 7:45

“In retrospect, I should have slowed down and said, ‘But I did meet one Russian official a couple of times, and that would be the ambassador.'”
March 2, 2017 -

Jeff Sessions' recusal news conference

Washington Post, March 2, 2017
Transcript of Jeff Sessions’s recusal news conference, annotated

(retrieved 7/11/18)
starts at 10:36

“I do not recall any discussions with the Russian ambassador, or any other representative of the Russian government, regarding the political campaign on these occasions or any other occasion.”
March 6, 2017 -

Letter from Jeff Sessions to the Judiciary Committee

CNN, March 6, 2017
Jeff Sessions says he didn't mislead Congress in testimony

(retrieved 7/11/18)

On June 8, 2017, former FBI Director James Comey reportedly told senators in a closed hearing that Ambassador Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that he and Sessions had a third interaction on April 27, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., where then-candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address.2CNN, June 8, 2017
Comey told senators Sessions may have met Russia’s ambassador a third time
retrieved 7/11/18

Sessions subsequently denied having any recollection of that interaction and altered his story again to say that he did not discuss “any type of interference” in the election with Russians:


June 13, 2017
Jeff Sessions Russian Contacts Now

“I did not have any private meetings nor do I recall any conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel… If any brief interaction occurred in passing with the Russian ambassador during that reception, I do not remember it.”
June 13, 2017 -

Senate Intelligence Committee hearing

CNN, 7/11/18
Jeff Sessions' opening statement at Senate hearing

(retrieved 7/11/18)
starts at 24:22

“I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States. Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign.”
June 13, 2017 -

Senate Intelligence Committee hearing

CNN, 7/11/18
Jeff Sessions' opening statement at Senate hearing

(retrieved 7/11/18)
starts at 25:34


On July 21, 2017, the Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence officials intercepted communications showing that Ambassador Kislyak told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters with Sessions during the campaign, including policy issues important to Moscow.3Washington Post, July 21, 2017
Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show
retrieved 7/11/18

In a subsequent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Sessions altered his story a third time to acknowledge the possibility:


October 18, 2017
Jeff Sessions Russian Contacts Now

Sen. Patrick Leahy: “U.S. intelligence intercepts reported in July appear to reveal that you did, in fact, discuss campaign issues with the Russian ambassador, including Candidate Trump’s position on Russian-related issues… Have you discussed with [Russian officials] any policies or positions of the campaign or Trump presidency?”

Sessions: “It could’ve been that, in that meeting in my office or at the convention, that some comment was made about what Trump’s positions were. I think that’s possible.”
Oct 18, 2017 -

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing

C-SPAN, Oct 18, 2017
Justice Department Oversight Hearing (relevant remarks start at 1:06:45)

(retrieved 7/11/18)


#JeffSessions 1/17/17: "No ❲I did not discuss election issues with Russians❳." » #Sessions 10/18/17: "It could’ve been…some comment was made ❲to the Russian ambassador about❳ Trump’s positions." Click To Tweet