A lobbyist working on behalf of Russian interests attended two dinners hosted by then-Senator Jeff Sessions during the peak of the presidential campaign in summer 2016, the lobbyist Richard Burt told The Guardian.
“I did attend two dinners with groups of former Republican foreign policy officials and Senator Sessions,” Burt said.
His claims appear to contradict Sessions’ recent sworn testimony, in which Sessions said he “[didn’t] believe” he had been in contact with any Russian representative “including any American lobbyist or agent of any Russian company” during Trump’s presidential campaign.
The Guardian added:
“Asked whether Sessions was unfamiliar with Burt’s role as a lobbyist for Russian interests – a fact that is disclosed in public records – or had any reason to be confused about the issue, Burt told the Guardian that he did not know.
Several media reports published before Trump’s election in November noted that Burt advised then-candidate Trump on his first major foreign policy speech, a role that brought him into contact with Sessions personally.”
The speech was delivered at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel in April 2016. Sessions attended the speech, as did Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Sessions said in his testimony he did not “have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian ambassador or any other Russian officials” at the event. But he later added, “I could say that I possibly had a meeting but I still do not recall it.”