Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed he had forgotten about a March 2016 meeting with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos when he previously insisted under oath that he was "not aware" that anyone involved with Trump's presidential run had any connections with the Russian government.
"This is a full on lawyered up performance from Sessions. Almost every answer includes a version of 'I don't believe,' or 'I don't recall.'"
—Matthew Miller, MSNBC
Blaming the "chaos" of the presidential campaign and lack of sleep for his earlier forgetfulness, Sessions told members of Congress that, after reading news reports, he does "now recall the March 2016 meeting at Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended."
At the meeting, Papadopoulos floated the idea of using his contacts with Russia to organize a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sessions insisted that while he does not remember any precise details of the meeting—which he led—he remembers pushing back against Papadopoulos' proposal.
As Common Dreams reported last month, Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Watch part of Sessions' testimony:
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) November 14, 2017
MSNBC legal analyst Matthew Miller characterized Sessions' appearance on Capitol Hill Tuesday as a "full on lawyered up performance," given the number of times Sessions couldn't "recall" details of relatively recent events.
This is a full on lawyered up performance from Sessions. Almost every answer includes a version of "I don't believe," or "I don't recall."
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) November 14, 2017
This Jeff Sessions testimony brought to you by selective amnesia.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) November 14, 2017
In recent weeks, Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of lying under oath after he failed to disclose two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the confirmation process.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) confronted Sessions—who asserted that he has "always told the truth" to Congress—on these meetings during Tuesday's hearing. Watch:
— John Aravosis (@aravosis) November 14, 2017