WASHINGTON, D.C. — This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified for several hours before the House Judiciary Oversight Committee. Sessions answered questions on a whole host of topics including his testimony in his Senate confirmation hearing about contacts with the Russian government as a Trump campaign surrogate.
Sessions was asked specifically about statements made by George Papadopoulos, a man who worked for the Trump campaign and is currently facing federal charges related to his communications with the Russians. Papadopoulos has said that he proposed a meeting between candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that Sessions was in the meeting in which he proposed it. As reported by Politico, Sessions essentially testified that he could not remember the meeting Papadopoulos is speaking about, despite having told the Senate in his confirmation hearing both categorically that he didn’t have contact with Russia, and he didn’t know of anyone else who did or attempted to. Papadopoulos’ testimony would seem to directly contradict that assertion of Mr. Sessions.
“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,” Sessions told the House judiciary committee. “But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago, and would gladly have reported it.”
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last month to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia-linked people. (source)
After his testimony, Mr. Sessions was spotted walking back to the Department of Justice, and was stopped to answer some questions for various media outlets. Attorney General Sessions used the opportunity to try to add some more nuance to his answers in the House Judiciary committee.
“Look, I kinda think this is a very easy thing to understand,” Sessions said, “I simply can’t remember if I lied about forgetting contacts with Russia, or if I forgot that I lied, okay? It’s really a very simple story I’ve told that has never wavered except in those times that I changed it. See? Simple.”
Sessions said that he has a very reasonable explanation for his recent spat of forgetfulness.
“See, we’ve been looking into whether or not we should loosen up our views on the devil’s weed, known more commonly as that dope-ass-kush-shit, and as such I’ve been sampling marijuana to see what all the fuss is about,” Sessions said. “I must say, it’s been quite good at relieving the stress and pressure of all this Russia stuff. But one of the side effects, for me anyway, is that I seem to have lost some sense of short term memory.”
Mr. Sessions also offered another explanation.
“I’m old, okay? I forget stuff, okay? I also lie about stuff. It’s hard for me to keep my lies separate from what I forgot, you see?” Sessions said, “It’s really just that simple. Now leave me alone, will you? I have cookies to make and Russian vodka to hide.”