Attorney General Jeff Sessions told reporters at a press conference Thursday that as a senator, he met with many ambassadors to various countries in an official capacity. However, a Wall Street Journal report revealed that Sessions used campaign money to fund his trip to the Republican National Convention, where he then met in an official capacity, with the Russian envoy.
Similarly, Sessions made political statements about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign while at a Heritage Foundation event during the GOP convention in July. He then met with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
Senators do meet with ambassadors frequently, but Sessions has come under fire this week for not disclosing his meeting with Kislyak. Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) during his confirmation hearing what he would do if evidence came to light that the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government. Sessions replied, “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.”
Sessions told reporters he forgot about his communication with Kislyak and that’s why he didn’t disclose it in the hearing. He denied misleading lawmakers and said that allegations that he has ties to Russia are “totally false” and his answers were “honest and correct based on [his] understanding of the question.”
“He was literally conducting himself as a United States senator,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in Thursday’s gaggle.
That turns out to be false as well.