Sessions Snaps at Harris to Let Him Qualify Answer on Russian Meetings: ‘You’ll Accuse Me of Lying’

• June 13, 2017 5:12 pm


Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) had a combative exchange Tuesday at the Senate Intelligence Committee, with Sessions at one point worrying that he would be accused of lying if not allowed to qualify one of his responses.

Sessions was under scrutiny Tuesday over a vague report that he had a secret meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in April 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel. He said he did not recall any such meeting.

"If any brief interaction occurred in passing with the Russian ambassador during that reception, I do not remember it," Sessions said.

"Did you have any communications with Russian officials for any reason during the campaign that have not been disclosed, in public or to this committee?" Harris asked.

"I don't recall it," Sessions said.

Harris followed up to ask if he had any communication with any Russian businessman or Russian nationals.

"I don't believe I had any conversation with any Russian businessman or Russian nationals, although a lot of people were at the convention," Sessions said. "It's conceivable that—"

Harris tried to interrupt, but Sessions snapped that he needed to be able to qualify his response.

"Well, you let me qualify it," he said. "If I don't qualify it, you'll accuse me of lying, so I need to be correct as best I can. I'm not able to be rushed this fast. It makes me nervous."

"I do want you to be honest," Harris said.

Harris also asked Sessions to provide the committee with documents, notes, and written correspondence relevant to his testimony, to which Sessions responded he would so where "appropriate."

Sessions told Congress during his confirmation hearing he had no contacts with Russian officials last year, but he later had to admit he met with Kislyak on two other occasions, according to the New York Times.

Published under: Jeff Sessions, Kamala Harris, Russia