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‘Stop misleading the public’: Sen. Al Franken blisters Sessions for blaming ‘rambling’ question for lies

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Al Franken speaks to CNN (screen grab)

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) for his failure to disclose his meetings with Russian operatives, the Minnesota senator accused the attorney general of misleading the Senate Judiciary Committee and the American public in a statement.

Along with asserting that Sessions and President Donald Trump’s administration “have collective amnesia about meeting with Russian officials during and after the campaign” that they “only remember when they have been caught,” Franken also said he believes the attorney general intentionally obfuscated when claiming the senator’s “rambling questions” questions confused him.

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“Despite what he attempted to assert in his testimony,” Franken continued, “Attorney General Sessions wasn’t actually confused by my question during his January confirmation hearing.”

“Rather, I believe he’s trying to downplay the gravity of and whitewash the fact that he misled the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath and failed to correct the record until he was forced to do so seven weeks later after reporting by the Washington Post,” he said, citing the Post‘s report that revealed Sessions met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak without disclosing the meetings on his security clearance forms when he became AG.

“Here’s my message to Jeff Sessions: stop misleading the American public, stop making excuses, and start being more forthcoming. Come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to speak honestly and openly with those who you first misled,” Franken concluded.

Read the entire statement below via Bloomberg’s Sahil Kupar on Twitter.

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2020 Election

America’s crimes against humanity aren’t on the ballot this year — but they should be

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The 2020 presidential election is a life-and-death decision for thousands of people vulnerable to COVID-19, for a globe under the assault from the climate crisis, and for the future of American democracy. And yet for all the urgency, the political campaign still suffers under the weight and stench of bullshit.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt warns in his bestselling pamphlet "On Bullshit" that "bullshit" is more injurious than the blatant lie. One reason among many is that bullshit blurs the line between reality and fiction, offering a manipulative incorporation of truth to strengthen its own capacity to persuade. Absolute falsity, in contrast, is obvious to anyone with minimal awareness of the facts. When the Trump administration recently declared that one of its grand achievements was "ending the pandemic," most people laughed in disbelief. This is a lie fit for consumption only from inhabitants of a collective similar to the Rev. Jim Jones' notorious People's Temple settlement in Guyana.

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2020 Election

Conservatives are hopping mad that their clumsy Hunter Biden smear is a flop

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

In 2016, Steve Bannon did an amazing job rolling out the Clinton Foundation nontroversy. He gave The New York Times and CNN early access to Peter Schweizer's book, Clinton Cash, and the outlets gave it mainstream credibility. Later, when the Uranium One story was thoroughly debunked, it didn't matter. The foundation remained under a pall of fuzzy suspicions.

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GOP insiders give Pence little chance of ever being president after four years spent defending Trump: report

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On Saturday, writing for The Washington Post, Ben Terris reported that many Republican consultants and insiders believe that Vice President Mike Pence's presidential ambitions are doomed, for several reasons.

"If you list the top 10 most likely people to have a strong shot at the nomination, maybe Mike Pence makes number nine or 10," said former Marco Rubio presidential campaign manager Terry Sullivan in the piece. "Maybe." Former Jeb Bush campaign spokesman Tim Miller agreed, saying, "I could maybe see him becoming the nominee, but president? I just don’t see it."

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