Appearing on CNN’s The Lead, Democratic Senator Al Franken (MN) said he has given Jeff Sessions “some slack” in the past for his evasive answers about meeting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign, but that he now feels the Attorney General committed perjury.
Hours after Franken battled with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) over whether Franken’s asking about Russian involvement during Sessions’ confirmation hearings was a “gotcha question,” the Minnesota senator said he’s now at his limit.
Speaking with host Jake Tapper, Franken said he is past the point of pretending that Sessions misunderstood his question during the hearings and is growing uninterested in waiting for Sessions’ written explanation. .
“Listen, I’ve been cutting him a lot of slack. I’ve been refusing to say that he lied,” a rueful Franken said. “I’ve wanted to wait for this letter to come out, but it’s hard to come to any other conclusion than that he just perjured himself.”
“You think he perjured himself,” host Tapper pressed. “What do you think the penalty should be, do you think he should resign?”
“I think he should come before the committee and explain this,” Franken replied. “Of course, no one asked him about the Russian ambassador. He is the one who volunteered to speak to anybody and it turned out he had met twice with the Russian ambassador, once in a private meeting, and he had seven weeks to just notify us.”
Franken then got to the bigger issue: Russian involvement in the 2016 election and Trump’s lies during the campaign.
“This is about the Russian government high-jacking our election,” Franken charged. “And this is about whether there was any collusion in that interference by the Trump campaign, and it raises all kinds of questions.”
“What do the Russians have on Trump? Why is he being so complimentary to Putin all this time?” Franken continued. “His son said in 2008 that we have a lot of Russian money coming into our operation or in our organization, our business organization. We need to see the president’s income taxes. He lied about that. He said you can’t release your income taxes if you’re under audit. Yes, you can.”
Watch the video below via CNN: