As reported earlier, Attorney General Jeff Sessions came under fire when news of his meeting last year with the Russian ambassador emerged. Here’s a follow up on that story:
President Donald Trump has defended his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions as an “honest man” amid calls that he quit. Mr. Trump accused Democrats of a witch hunt, at the same time accepting that Mr. Sessions could have stated the response “more accurately but it was not intentional.”
The Democrats have maintained their attacks on Mr. Sessions, claiming his explanations about meeting the Russian ambassador “were not credible.”
Mr. Trump said that the Democrats had lost their grip on reality after losing the election.
The Attorney General is now insisting that he was “honest and correct” at his confirmation hearing. He said that he met the Russian Ambassador as a U.S. Senator and not as a Trump “surrogate.”
He stated that he never had any meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign. He admitted that he should have slowed down at his confirmation hearing and said that he did meet “one Russian official a couple of times.” He went on to add that the way the meeting occurred and the way it is being presented is “unfair,” and “hyped beyond reason.”
However, Mr. Sessions has removed himself from the FBI probe into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election stating that it could be perceived that he wouldn’t be objective.
The Democrats are not easing up with Nancy Pelosi repeatedly calling for his resignation.
“His narrow recusal and sorry attempt to explain away his perjury were totally inadequate.”
Top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff said that Mr. Sessions “clearly mislead” the committee and his explanation was “simply not credible.”
Some of the top Republicans in the House agreed that Mr. Sessions rescue himself from the investigation; senior lawmakers are rallying behind him, resisting the appointment of an independent prosecutor.
The Russian response echoed Mr. Trump’s witch hunt accusation.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Mr. Kislyak met parliamentarians, representatives of the executive branch, and other public figures; a practice that has never been questioned by anyone. He continued to add:
“All this very much resembles a witch hunt, or the period of McCarthyism, which we thought had long passed in the United States as a civilized country.”
Senator Joseph McCarthy presided over an investigation into alleged communist activities in the U.S. in the 1950s.
Reports have emerged that some other people associated with the Trump campaign also met the Russian Ambassador.
We all know about Michael Flynn’s meeting with Mr. Kislyak, which resulted in his dismissal from the adviser job.
According to new reports, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was alongside Mr. Flynn during the meeting with Mr. Kislyak in December. There are allegations that U.S. sanctions were discussed in that meeting.
According to a source quoted by AP, Mr. Kislyak also met Carter Page at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. Mr. Page briefly advised the Trump campaign.