Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, saying he never lied when he noted in previous testimony that he had no knowledge of any members of the Trump campaign meeting with Russia.
The AG says he does now remember a March 2016 meeting with George Papadopoulos, a member of the Trump campaign who allegedly lied to the FBI about his contact with Russians.
“I would like to address recent news reports regarding meetings during the campaign attended by George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, among others. Frankly, I had no recollection of this until I saw these news reports,” said Sessions, adding, “I have always told the truth, and I have answered every question as I understood them and to the best of my recollection, as I will continue to do today.”
According to reports, Sessions was on hand at a meeting on March 31, 2016, when Papadopoulos discussed setting up a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin., but Sessions said he could not recall what was said at that time.
“After reading his [Papadopoulos’] account, and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter. But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago, and I would gladly have reported it had I remembered it, because I pushed back against his suggestion that I thought may have been improper,” Sessions said.
Sessions said the lack of recall was due to his full-time role as Senator for Alabama during that time and his full schedule. In addition, he discussed the difficulty in being asked to remember details from so long ago on who he saw and what was said.
“Let me be clear,” he stated: “I have at all times conducted myself honorably and in a manner consistent with the high standards and responsibilities of the Office of Attorney General. As I said before, my story has never changed. I have always told the truth, and I have answered every question to the best of my recollection as I will continue to do today.”