Jeff Session plans to duke it out with his former Senate colleagues Tuesday afternoon — denying that he met with Russia’s ambassador at a Washington, DC, hotel, according to a new report.
The attorney general will say he was at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016 for a campaign speech given by then-candidate Donald Trump, but doesn’t remember any interactions with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Axios reported.
And he will also tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that he didn’t disclose his first meeting with the Russian after Justice Department staffers told him not to — a position that mirrors a statement the department released in his defense.
“As a United States Senator, the Attorney General met hundreds — if not thousands — of foreign dignitaries and their staff,” the statement read.
“In filling out the SF-86 form, the Attorney General’s staff consulted with those familiar with the process, as well as the FBI investigator handling the background check, and was instructed not to list meetings with foreign dignitaries and their staff connected with his Senate activities.”
Ousted FBI director James Comey told the same committee last week that classified evidence indicated that Sessions and Kislyak may have had an undisclosed sitdown at the hotel.
Sessions is expected to say that the source of that information, believed to be Russian chatter picked up during routine surveillance, was unreliable, the website said.
Sessions met with Kislyak twice during the campaign, according to reports, and did not disclose those encounters with Trump officials and denied the meetings during his confirmation hearing in the Senate.
The former Alabama senator, 70, will also likely paint a far different picture of a conversation he had with Comey in February in which the former top G-man said he asked Sessions to not leave him alone with the president.
Sessions, who did not reply according to Comey’s sworn testimony, will insist that he did respond, telling him that the FBI and Justice Department needed to smooth out the protocol communications with the White House.
Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe after his two meetings with the ambassador were revealed.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein now heads up the probe.