Trump 'listened with interest' at Papadopolous' pitch for campaign meeting with Putin: report
Donald Trump during CNN debate (Photo: Screen capture via video)

In the midst of a coordinated White House effort to distance Donald Trump from former staffer George Papadopoulos, The New York Times reported Tuesday on details from a March 31, 2016 campaign meeting.


Citing a former campaign aide who attended the meeting, The Times reported Trump "listened with interest" as Papadopoulos pitched the idea of a personal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Though campaign supervisor Sam Clovis worried about the "optics" of a meeting with the Russian strongman, Trump asked questions of Papadopoulos's plan.

Trump "didn't say yes, and he didn't say no" the source disclosed.

However, then Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) rejected the meeting and asked those assembled to never speak of it again.

Additional details on the meeting bring into question statements Sessions made while testifying before Congress on multiple occasions.

On October 18, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) asked Attorney General Sessions, "You don't believe that surrogates from the Trump campaign had communications with the Russians?"

"I did not -- and I'm not aware of anyone else that did," Sessions replied. "I don't believe that it happened.