Sen. Al Franken on Thursday issued a scathing letter demanding truthful answers from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, amid reports Sessions rejected a proposal in March 2016 from Trump’s former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos to set up a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“This newest revelation strongly suggests that the Senate—and the American public—cannot trust your word,” Franken wrote.
He needs to return to Senate Judiciary Committee and explain himself. My letter to him: https://t.co/cWkvzodq1S
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) November 2, 2017
Franken included several pointed questions in a letter to Sessions after court filings unsealed this week revealed that Papadopoulos floated the idea of the Trump-Putin meeting on March 31, 2016.
An Instagram picture on Trump’s account shows Sessions and Trump attended the meeting at which Papadopoulos made the suggestion.
According to CNN, Trump “didn’t say yes and he didn’t say no” to Papadopoulos’ proposal.
CNN reports that the then-Alabama senator and chairman of Trump’s national security team reportedly shut down the idea of a Putin meeting. Sessions’ reaction was confirmed with another source who had discussed his role.
During his confirmation hearings in January, Sessions told Congress in sworn testimony that he was unaware of any discussions between the Trump campaign and Russian officials to collaborate in defeating Hillary Clinton.
When Sessions was questioned by senators in June, he claimed to have no knowledge of “anyone connected to the Trump campaign” communicating with Russian operatives, nor was he aware of “any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States.”
“Once again, developments in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election have brought to light evidence that you failed to tell the truth about your interactions with Russian operatives during the campaign, as well as your awareness of Russian contacts by other members of the Trump campaign team,” Franken wrote.
He called it “another example in an alarming pattern” in which Sessions “apparently failed to tell the truth, under oath, about the Trump team’s contacts with agents of Russia—a hostile foreign power that interfered in the 2016 election.”
“We must get to the bottom of what happened so that we can prevent it from happening again,” Franken wrote. “I am deeply troubled that this newest revelation strongly suggests that the Senate—and the American public—cannot trust your word.”
He asked Sessions to respond to his questions by next Friday, Nov. 10.