Sessions Was Told Not To Disclose Russia Meetings On Security Forms
08:12, May 26, 2017
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Mr Sessions came under fire earlier this year after the WashingtonPostreported that he had failed to disclose interactions with Mr Kislyak during his Senate confirmation hearings for attorney general.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that us intelligence services obtained information during the 2016 presidential election that showed senior Russian officials discussing how to influence Trump through his campaign advisers.
Justice Department officials first told CNN about the incomplete information on Sessions' SF-86 form on Wednesday.
The Justice Department says Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose on a security clearance form meetings he had as a senator previous year with foreign dignitaries, including the Russian ambassador.
Sessions met with Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, at least twice in 2016.
The Justice Department defended Sessions' omission regarding the meetings, the Examiner noted.
Officials said the form, known as the SF-86, required Sessions to list "any contact" he or his family had with a "foreign government" or its "representatives" over the past seven years. The meetings happened in July and September while Sessions was a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and one of President Donald Trump's foreign policy advisers during the presidential campaign. Following the report, Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department's investigation into Russian meddling. And attendees at a classified House briefing last week with the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, said Sessions' name was raised when lawmakers asked if the attorney general had a role in the Comey firing.
The special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, is overseeing an investigation into Russia's meddling in the election and whether there was any collusion with Trump associates. He had also not disclosed the meetings in an official questionnaire. Since the firing, President Donald Trump acknowledged in an interview with NBC News that the Russian Federation investigation was on his mind as he dismissed Comey.
He recused himself from the Russian Federation inquiry in March, after it was reported he had met with Kislyak in 2016.
As we discussed a couple of months ago, Sessions' meetings themselves are hard to understand.
The news, first reported by CNN, renewed questions about Sessions and the Russian Federation issue. The report Wednesday says the Russians zeroed in on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, a former head of USA military intelligence who was a key Trump campaign adviser.
According to a statement made on Wednesday by spokesman Ian Prior, Sessions had omitted the contacts as a matter of practicality.
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