At a press conference on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told reporters that, while he was a senator, he met with ambassadors from many countries in an “official” capacity.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, however, Sessions used campaign money to fund his trip to the Republican National Convention. It was at the RNC that he met with the Russian Ambassador to the United States — a meeting that has been a source of controversy as of late. As was validated by campaign finance records and attendees of the event, although Sessions used his campaign funds to attend the RNC, he was not there to campaign for himself — instead, he made remarks only about President Trump.
Despite the many critiques of Sessions’ claims that his meetings were official and, in essence, routine, it is actually fairly common for senators to meet with ambassadors with the frequency that Sessions has alluded to. However, the Attorney General’s main issue arose from the fact that he refused to disclose this information during his senate confirmation hearing. At the time, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota specifically asked Sessions what he would do if evidence was released that the Trump campaign had, in fact, communicated with the Russian government. In response, Sessions stated,
“I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
During Thursday’s press conference, the Attorney General told reporters that he had simply forgotten about his communication with Kislyak and that’s why he did not disclose it when he was prompted by Sen. Franken. He died misleading lawmakers and said that the allegations that he has ties to Russia are “totally false.” Furthermore, Sessions claimed that his answers during his confirmation hearing were “honest and correct based on [his] understanding of the question.”
Adding to the many falsehoods eschewed by the Trump camp since these revelations came to light, Sessions’ statements were supported by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who stated on Thursday that, Sessions “was literally conducting himself as a United States senator.”