On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sen. Al Franken said that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied during a Senate confirmation about his contact with Russian officials over the course of Trump’s presidential campaign.
As was reported by the Washington Post on Wednesday, Sessions met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. twice while he was a senator and campaign surrogate for now-President Donald Trump.
During the appearance on Thursday, Franken explained that,
“[Sessions’] responses to me weren’t accurate. I would like to see him answer questions at a press conference and then we can decide whether he should resign or not.”
During his Senate confirmation hearing, Franken explicitly asked Sessions whether he knew of any connection between the Trump campaign and Russia. However, Sessions claimed that he did not.
“I asked him, there had been breaking news as we were recessing for a while in the hearings, (and) when we came back, it had broken that members of the Trump campaign had met with the Russians, and I asked him since he was — they were hearings from the attorney general, what would he do if he learned that members of the Trump campaign team had been meeting with the Russians. He didn’t answer my question, which probably should have been, ‘I’d recuse myself.’ What he did was, instead he pivoted and said, ‘I was a campaign surrogate or considered one, and I never met with the Russians. That is, at best, extremely misleading, and here we are.”
The U.S. Attorney General now admits that he did, in fact, speak to the Russian ambassador, but Franken doesn’t seem to trust his claims about not recalling what was spoken about during their conversation, saying, “If you don’t remember what you talked about, you don’t remember that you didn’t talk about the campaign.”
Franken did not hold back in saying that Sessions had lost all credibility to oversee the Department of Justice investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Furthermore, the senator asserted that neither Sessions nor the White House should be permitted to choose a special prosecutor in the Attorney General’s place.
The Senator concluded,
“He certainly at the very minimum should recuse himself. This just makes common sense. He should recuse himself from any investigation, any investigation the FBI is doing, any investigation at all into the ties of the Trump campaigns to the Russians as the Russians were interfering with our Democratic elections.”
Watch the clip here:
Sen. Franken on AG Sessions: Would like him to answer questions and "then we can see if he should resign or not." https://t.co/TpVfBQQxMy
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 2, 2017