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Attorney General Sessions Under Fire for Meeting With Russian Ambassador During Campaign Without Disclosing When Asked

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When a Senator, Sessions Met Twice With Ambassador Considered to Be a Top Russian Spy but Did Not Disclose During His Confirmation Hearing to Become Attorney General

In an article published Wednesday evening, the Washington Post reports that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had spoken with the Russian Federation’s ambassador to the United States during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last summer and fall. He is now under fire for not having disclosed those meetings while under oath.

During his Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing January 10, Sessions was asked by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign. Sessions responded telling Franken and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: “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.”

A spokesperson for the Attorney General told the paper Wednesday that Sessions was acting as a member of the Armed Services Committee, not as a Trump surrogate, when he spoke with the ambassador, and was not trying to mislead fellow senators when he said during his confirmation hearing that he had not had contacts with the Russian government. 

According to the Post, Sessions had two separate meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, one of which, according to Justice Department officials speaking to the paper, was a private meeting last September. The earlier meeting was at a function last July hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.. Sessions was approached informally by Kislyak and a few other ambassadors also in attendance at the event.

The September meeting occurred during the time period that U.S. Intelligence officials were informing the Obama administration and senior Congressional leadership, along with the Senate Intelligence Committee, that there was evidence of Russian influence and hacking efforts in attempts to interfere with the U.S. presidential election. 

“There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer,” Dept. of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said. She added that the Attorney General did not consider his conversations with the ambassador relevant to the committee’s questions and said that he did not remember their discussion in detail. Flores noted that as a senior member of both the Senate Judiciary as well as the Senate Armed Services committees, he regularly met foreign ambassadors.

Kislyak is considered by U.S. Intelligence to be a Russian spy and a top recruiter of spies.

Flores also added that Sessions was “unaware” that his communications were under the scrutiny of the FBI during that same time period the bureau was investigating the Russian interference of the campaign last fall. 

“If it’s true that Attorney General Sessions met with the Russian ambassador in the midst of the campaign, then I am very troubled that his response to my questioning during his confirmation hearing was, at best, misleading,” Franken told the Washington Post in a statement on Wednesday.

The Post report has fueled immediate calls for Sessions, who oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, to appoint a special prosecutor to take control of any investigations into Russia’s election interference efforts.

However, some are asking for his resignation. In a conversation Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for House Democratic Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, said that she feels that Sessions lied under oath and is demanding his immediate resignation.

In a statement issued late Wednesday night, Sen. Sessions said “I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”

UPDATES:

Top Democrats Call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Resign Amid Accusations of Perjury

WATCH: Jeff Sessions Issues On-Camera Carefully-Worded Denial

 

Brody Levesque is the Chief Political Correspondent for The New Civil Rights Movement.
You may contact Brody at Brody.Levesque@thenewcivilrightsmovement.com

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.

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News

Marjorie Taylor Greene Is Demonstrating ‘The Depth of Power She Has Over Kevin McCarthy’: Politico Reporter

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Appearing on CNN on Saturday morning, Politico’s Rachael Bade explained that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s overwhelming desire to become the leader of a Republican Party-dominated House has put him at the mercy of the demands and whims of extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

As the plans for the 2022 midterm elections ramp up, and political prognosticators are saying a GOP House takeover is highly likely, McCarthy’s path to staying leader is not certain with the far-right wing of the party balking at just handing the California Republican the gavel.

As Bade explained to CNN’s Christi Paul, Taylor Green is just now starting to feel her power over McCarthy grow.

“What is the takeaway for Kevin McCarthy?” Paul asked. “Particularly, I have to point out that after last night, Marjorie Taylor Greene said she tweeted that she got off a good call with him. spent time talking about problems not only for the country. ‘I like what he has planned ahead.’ Two different — two different points of view from her and in a 24 to 48-hour period. What do you make of that?”

“Look, I think Kevin McCarthy has a really long year ahead of him,” Bade suggested. “You’re right, the midterms are far away. That vote for him to become speaker is a long way off, but Marjorie Taylor Greene is just starting to realize the depth of power she actually has over Kevin McCarthy.”

“This is a man who has wanted to be Speaker for a decade,” she continued. “He needs her vote, he needs her support in order to get the gavel. I think what you’ll be seeing for the next few months, for a year, anytime Kevin McCarthy does anything to infuriate Marjorie Taylor Greene or infuriates [Donald] Trump — they’re going to be lording it over his head.”

“He’s got this real bind right now, he’s going to be in this pickle for a very long time,” she later added.

Watch below:

 

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News

Fauci Warns: ‘It’s Not Going to Be Possible to Keep’ Omicron ‘Out of the Country’

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The World Health Organization addressed the new COVID-19 “variant of concern” Friday night, naming it “Omicron” and issuing an ominous warning about the future.

“This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning,” the statement said. “Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant.”

Omicron was initially referred to as B.1.1.529.

Earlier on Friday, the European Commission issued a similar warning and proposed that its member countries activate the “emergency brake” on travel from countries in southern Africa and other affected countries to limit the spread of the variant, The New York Times reported.

Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform, said Omicron has 10 mutations and many more entry points than the highly contagious Delta variant.

“All air travel to these countries should be suspended until we have a clear understanding about the danger posed by this new variant,” Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Union’s executive arm, said in a statement. “And travelers returning from this region should respect strict quarantine rules.”

In addition to the U.S. and Canada, the following governments have halted or restricted flights from South Africa to try to curb the spread of Omicron: Bahrain, Belgium, Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Singapore.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the travel restrictions would “buy us some time” and that “it’s not going to be possible to keep this infection out of the country. The question is: Can you slow it down?”

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CORRUPTION

Wallace Skewers Christie for Trying to ‘Save’ the GOP and Favoring Fox News

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MSNBC news host Nicolle Wallace skewered former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie while he was promoting his book, “Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden.”

“Is bias more dangerous to the country than conspiracy theorists?” Wallace asked.

“No, but that’s the third section of the book where I talk about the movement forward. In the second portion of the book, we talk about the conspiracy theories and the truth-denying that went on with things like Qanon, Pizzagate, the election situation, John Birch Society… that’s what I talk about. There’s two sections of the book and I’m sure you’re conflating them,” Christie answered.

“I’m not conflating them,” Wallace said. “I don’t think it’s an intellectually honest case to make against conspiracy theories without taking on Fox News.”

During the interview, Wallace also asked Christie if he thought former President Donald J. Trump gave him COVID-19. He denied naming Trump specifically in the contraction, but ultimately said he didn’t know who gave it to him.

See below for how Twitter has responded to the interview, which originally aired Tuesday night, and also to the news of Christie’s potential run for president in 2024.

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