Jeff Sessions to House Judiciary Committee: I forgot about Papadopoulos meeting, but now remember
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a House committee Tuesday that he had forgotten but now remembers attending a meeting at which Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos said he could help arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He also rejected accusations that he lied when he did not mention the interactions when asked about any contacts between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
Mr. Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that he “had no recollection” of the meeting until details about it were reported following the unsealing of a plea agreement for Mr. Papadopoulos.
“I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said during that meeting,” Mr. Sessions told lawmakers Tuesday, according to prepared remarks. “After reading his 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.”
The attorney general has come under fire for not disclosing the discussion when he was asked during his confirmation hearing about any contacts between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign, for which he served as an advisor.
Mr. Sessions went on to say that had he remembered the event before his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, he would have mentioned it.
Mr. Papadopoulos‘ plea agreement on charges of lying to FBI agents was unsealed Oct. 30.
Mr Sessions blamed his forgetfulness on the chaotic nature of the presidential campaign.
“It was a brilliant campaign in many ways. But it was a form of chaos every day from day one,” Mr. Sessions said. “We traveled all the time, sometimes to several places in one day. Sleep was in short supply.”
The attorney general said he’s done his best to answer questions truthfully when he’s appeared before congressional committees.
“I have been asked to remember details from a year ago such as who i saw on what day and what meeting and who said what to when,” Mr. Sessions said. “In all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer all of your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory. But I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied. That is a lie.”