Jeff Sessions and the Russian ambassador

A few days ago, the Washington Post reported that Attorney Jeff Sessions’ statements about what he discussed with the Russian ambassador are at odds with reports by the ambassador to his government about what he and Sessions discussed. However, as I argued here, there is no inconsistency between the statements of Sessions quoted by the Post and the Russian ambassador’s alleged description of his talks with Sessions.

The Sessions statements quoted by the Post were that he did not discuss the presidential campaign with the ambassador. The ambassador told his government that the two discussed Russia. Although Russia was an issue in the campaign, discussing it is not discussing the campaign.

However, although the Post article did not quote it, Sessions made this statement on March 1, via a tweet by his spokesperson: “I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign.” (Emphasis added)

If by this, Sessions meant that he did not discuss Russia, which was an issue in the campaign, the statement is at odds with what the Russian ambassador told his government. If he meant that he didn’t discuss issues about the campaign — e.g., how it was going, how Russia might assist, etc. — which is what Sessions said elsewhere, there is no inconsistency.

I want to make two more points about the meeting. First, it is the Russian ambassador’s job to talk with U.S. Senators about Russia. Thus, if he did not talk to Sessions about Russia, it is likely he would tell his government he did.

Second, the anti-Sessions leaks by his enemies apparently do not describe what the ambassador told his government Sessions said about Russia. At least, the Washington Post, recipient of the leaks, does not describe this.

So if Sessions discussed Russia with the ambassador, either he said nothing from which the Russian government could take heart or the Post and/or its sources are holding back information, waiting to lower another boom on Jeff Sessions.

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