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Is Jeff Sessions Meeting With Russians A Scandal?

The 's History Of Anti- & Russian Hysteria

Another week, another Washington Post story about how Trump is really a Russian vassal.

Before we start, I want to remind everyone that federal agencies have already investigated this, and found no ties to Russia in the Trump campaign.

I also want to remind you of the Washington Post's tunnel vision on this issue, and how many times they've embarrassed themselves by manufacturing a Trump tie to .
  • WaPo labeled some of media's most trusted sites as Russian propoganda with fake, manufactured 'evidence.'
  • WaPo ran with a breaking news 'scoop' about Russian ties using only an anonymous source, who had only just created a website and published just one post.
  • WaPo accused Vladimir Putin of poisoning Hillary Clinton when she passed out at the 9/11 ceremony.
  • WaPo did this while openly mocking people who raised questions about her health. Those people were ultimately vindicated.
  • WaPo said Russian hackers hacked into the US electricity grid. No such hack ever occurred.
  • WaPo got caught misleading readers into thinking Russia used their influence to help Trump's . Intelligence agencies said that wasn't true.
  • WaPo said the entire State Department senior staff resign in protest of President Trump. They were fired.
  • WaPo reported Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's trip to Syria was financed by dictator Bashar al-Assad. It wasn't.
  • WaPo published a fake news story about a Trump cabinent battle over his immigration order. They had to issue 3 corrections to that story.

I could go on, but you get the point. They are obsessed with destroying Trump, and they aren't shy about fabricating fake news to do it. Especially when they can make it about Russia.

Washington Post's Newest Claim

On March 1, the Washington Post wrote this article:
Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last year, encounters he later did not disclose
Then-Sen. (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.

That sounds bad, doesn't it?
One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.

The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential . As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself.

Democrats are obsessed with the unsubstantiated Russian narrative. 

They are still peddling a 'Russian hacking' narrative that is completely unproven. The entire cyber-security industry says it's doubtful Russia hacked the DNC and others, the FBI never evaluated the 'hacked' server, Wikileaks maintains it wasn't a Russian hack, but a leak from Democrat staffers, four Democrat staffers have been caught hacking top Democrats on intel and homeland security committees. They hacked Democrat computers, and stole documents that they stored on a remote server. It's, literally, the biggest political story right now, and the Russia hack obbsessed media refusese to cover it.

Still, their allegations are serious.

What Majority Leader McCarthy Says

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said:
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MAJORITY LEADER: Well, I think Sessions, the little clip I just saw listening to you, said he would recuse himself going forward. But I think I’m just now reading about this myself. I could see in his role of Senator, yes, meeting with different ambassadors. I just think he needs to clarify what these meetings were and when did he have them.

BRZEZINSKI: If you had a meeting with the Russian Ambassador and you were supporting a campaign that was swirling with questions about Russia, would you disclose that you had that meeting?

MCCARTHY: Well, in this role, we meet with Ambassadors all the time.

BRZEZINSKI: Exactly.

Foreign ambassadors go to both party's conventions to rub elbows, and US senators meet with foreign ambassadors all the time as a normal function of their job's duties.

What Senator Ted Cruz Says

Senator Ted Cruz, also on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said:
CRUZ: You know, Joe, I’m not concerned about that. I think what we are seeing is a lot of political theater.

Could Jeff have been more clear in what he said?

Yes. I think it — that was unfortunate. But I think context matters a lot. Jeff was being asked about the Trump campaign communicating with the Russians. I think he understood that he was answering in that capacity. And that is perfectly understandable.

And the reason I say it’s political theater is the underlying meeting, you know, this morning, everyone is in high dungeon about the meeting. The underlying meeting is a nothing burger. It’s what senators do every day, meeting with foreign ambassadors; that’s part of the job.

And Jeff is a — was a very hard-working senator; he will be a hard-working attorney general. And so I think everyone is getting all worked up because it’s a chance to beat up the attorney general and beat up the president. But I think the underlying meeting is simply doing his job.

Cruz went on to say he met with six different ambassadors in the past two months, and that it was 'part of the job.' He also stated he believed Sessions was answering the question in the context of whether he met with Russian officials as a surrogate of the Trump campaign.

What Russia Says

Russia has also weighed in on the Washington Post's claims about Jeff Sessions:
Peskov said it was normal for Russian diplomats to meet with U.S. lawmakers. Sessions' office has said the meetings were in his capacity as a senator rather than as a Trump campaign adviser.

He characterized the reaction to the news of the Sessions meetings as "an emotional atmosphere (that) leads to resistance to the idea of some kind of U.S.-Russia dialogue."

A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, told The Associated Press that the Russian Embassy would not comment on meetings with American political figures, but she also said they were part of the embassy's "everyday business."

Zakharova echoed Peskov's assessment in a briefing on Thursday, saying U.S. news media were overreacting to suggestions of improper contacts between Russia and Trump's circle.

"What is happening now in the West, particularly in the U.S. media, it's just the manifestation of some kind of media vandalism," she said.

Again ... meeting with foreign officials is a part of the job, and happens all of the time.

What Jeff Sessions Says

In a clip that aired on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday from earlier in the day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied having met with Russian officials to discuss Donald Trump’s presidential campaign despite allegations that appeared a Washington Post story published late Wednesday night.

“I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign,” Sessions said. “And those remarks are unbelievable to me and are false, and I don’t have anything else to say about that.”

He then vowed to recuse himself from any Russian investigation.

What Jeff Sessions Was Really Asked, How He Really Answered, & What The Washington Post Left Out

The C-SPAN transcript of Jeff Sessions' testimony:
Franken: CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week, that included information that “Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.” These documents also allegedly say “there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.” Again, I’m telling you this as it’s coming out, so you know. But if it’s true, it’s obviously extremely serious, and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?

Sessions: Senator Franken, 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, and I’m unable to comment on it.

Franken: Very well.

Sessions was specifically asked about a 'continuing exchange of information' between the Trump campaign and Russia. He was not asked if he, or anyone else, had ever met with the Russians while working with the Trump campaign. Sessions said, and maintains, that he didn't meet with the Russians about the campaign. This is a VERY different narrative than the Washington Post is peddling.

The Washington Post also states that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked Sessions if he had “been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day.” Again, this is not how WaPo is spinning this story. If Sessions did not meet with the Russians about the campaign, but did meet with them as a normal function of being a US Senator, his answer would still be no. 

The NY Times also reports that the Obama administration was distributing information about ties to Russia in the Trump campaign. As Breitbart puts it, that would mean there was a coordinated hit job by our former president to smear the opposing party's candidate.

Conclusion

The Washington Post's story about Jeff Sessions 'failing to disclose' meeting with Russian officials is, at best, spin and, at worst, a fake news lie.

Then Senator Sessions would have met with foreign officials regularly as a part of his job. There's no conspiracy with him meeting with the Russians. Nor is there anything illegal.

Sessions was not asked if he had met with the Russians ever, in any capacity, during the campaign. The Washington Post misleads readers to assuming he was asked this question. Never happened.

He was asked if he was aware of an ongoing exchange of information between Russia and the Trump campaign. He said he wasn't aware of any, and didn't participate in any such exchange. There is no evidence that he did participate in any such exchange, and there's no evidence he is lying.

Sessions was also asked if he met with Russian officials to discuss the 2016 election specifically. He said he did not, and continues to maintain that he did not. There is no evidence that he did meet with Russian officials to discuss the election, and there's no evidence that he's lying about meeting with any Russian officials.

The Washington Post has embarrassed themselves once again with their unhealthy obsession with Russia.

UPDATE:

Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump also thinks there's nothing here.

 

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