In their continuing quest to find a nefarious connection between Trump and Russia, the latest report has to do with Jeff Sessions talking to the Russian ambassador during the campaign and then not disclosing it to Congress.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. before the presidential election last year, his spokeswoman confirmed, raising questions about whether he misled senators who inquired about the Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow.
Sarah Isgur Flores told NBC News that Sessions did have a conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last year. The meeting was first reported by The Washington Post.
But she said “there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer” because Sessions was asked during the hearing about “communications between Russia and the Trump campaign” and not about meetings he took as a member of the Armed Services Committee.
According to his spokeswoman, Sessions’ meeting with Kislyak was just one of 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors in his role on the committee.
“Recuse yourself!” Democrats and much of the MSM shrieks. Or better yet, “Resign!”
I really wonder what the average not-so-very-politically-involved reader thinks on reading about this story and the way it’s being presented in the MSM.
I do know that the WaPo and the left have been busy as beavers in their unrelenting effort to find further angles on the “Trump is Russia’s puppet” meme. I also know that they will dredge up any fact, however small, and blow it up as much as possible, framing even the ordinary as something extraordinary, and that a substantial number of people won’t question that framing.
Of course, this Sessions story fits into the prior narrative about Flynn, and shows why Flynn’s resignation (supposedly because he failed to disclose to Pence, not because of anything he actually did) only encouraged the left and gave them the template for the present brouhaha:
Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned last month after it was disclosed he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials about his communications with Kislyak.
Same ambassador. Same idea of non-disclosure, although the details are different.
In a statement Wednesday night, Sessions said: “I have never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”
Sessions obviously did not think that the questions he was being asked in his hearings—which had to do with whether the campaign, or people affiliated with the campaign, met with Russian officials—applied to his more ordinary contacts with the Russian ambassador in the course of his position in the Senate. I wish he had interpreted the questions even more broadly and said that yes, as a member of the Senate and as a member of the Armed Services Committee, he had talks with many foreign officials including the Russian ambassador. But in the hearings he was focused on the issue of campaign contacts, and it’s possible those two meetings didn’t even cross his mind.
It’s very clear that the Democrats and their allies in the MSM are going to continue with this sort of thing—the drip drip drip of stories that really don’t have much content but that are loaded with innuendo. If they seek, they will find. For Obama, they did the opposite and played cover-up.
[ADDENDUM: There’s much much more detail here about what Sessions was actually asked during his hearing, and what he answered. See also this, as well as this on what certainly appears to be an actual, bona fide lie by Sen. Claire McCaskill about the subject.]