'Were You Lying Then or Now?': Sessions and Dem Battle Over Russian Contacts
Attorney General Jeff Sessions went head to head on Tuesday with Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) over his statements on meeting with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign season.
Sessions repeated his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee that he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice when he was a congressman about matters unrelated to the Trump campaign.
Lieu challenged Sessions' consistency, referring to his statement on his security clearance application where Sessions said he had no contact with a foreign government in the past seven years.
"What you just told us under oath was exactly the opposite," Lieu said. "So I'm going to ask you Mr. Sessions, were you lying then when you filled out the form, or are you lying now?"
The attorney general explained that official meetings between members of Congress and foreign government officials do not fall under the security clearance question.
"I've not had any private business dealings or any things of that nature," Sessions responded. "My contacts would be in the normal course of congressional business."
"Either you're lying to the U.S. Senate or you're lying to the U.S. House of Representatives," Lieu disagreed, referring to the attorney general's previous tesimony
"I hope the congressman knows, and I hope all of you know that my answer to that question, I did not meet with the Russians, was explicitly responding to the shocking suggestion that I as a surrogate was meeting on a continuing basis with Russian officials, and the implication was to impact the campaign in some sort of nefarious way," an exasperated Sessions stated.
"All I did was meet in my office with the ambassador, which we didn't discuss anything like that."