During Thursday’s opening story with Rachel Maddow, the host played every video of former Alabama senator-turned Attorney General Jeff Sessions allegedly lying about contacts he had with Russians.
From the first confirmation hearings where Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) asked about engagements with Russians or foreign agents on Jan. 10, to his press conference and recusal, to his second clarification on June 13 where he called accusations of Russian collusion “an appalling and detestable lie.”
“Senator Sessions later appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee and whittled that denial down a little further, admitting, ‘OK, he might have had conversations with Russians in which they did discuss the campaign, but when he was meeting with Russians and talking about the campaign with them, he wasn’t talking about Russians interfering in the campaign,'” Maddow said.
Sessions said under oath that he has “never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States. Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to President Donald Trump campaign.”
According to campaign aide George Papadopoulos, he told the campaign about his outreach to the Russians as part of a meeting in which he was photographed with both Trump and Sessions.
“In the plea agreement just unsealed involving Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, the government asserts and Papadopoulos affirms that it’s true that not only did he, as part of the Trump campaign, have contacts with the Russian government while he was working with the campaign, those conversations really were about the Russians interfering in the campaign, by collecting dirt on Hillary Clinton and obtaining thousands of e-mails,” Maddow said.
A Thursday story by The New York Times made the same point as Maddow, noting that the released plea agreement from Papadopoulos confirms that Trump and Sessions lied repeatedly and have been caught.