Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, intelligence intercepts show https://t.co/dNcX3DeY9q
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 22, 2017
The Washington Post reports:
Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.
One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he has no recollection of an April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.
Sessions has said repeatedly that he never discussed campaign-related issues with Russian officials and that it was only in his capacity as a U.S. senator that he met with Kislyak.
Like the original leak that led to Attorney General Sessions recusal from the counterintelligence and criminal investigations into Russian active measure, cyberwar interference in the 2016 elections, the leak reported today is another warning shot. The former was meant to signal to AG Sessions that it would not end well if he messed with, or allowed others to mess with, the ongoing investigations. Today’s is a reminder. But it is also meant as a warning to others as well: “we have the intercepts of Ambassador Kislyak’s communications back to Moscow. We know what he told Putin and Lavrov. And if you interfere in Special Counsel Mueller’s work that information will find its way out.” Hence this from WaPo’s report:
But U.S. officials with regular access to Russian intelligence reports say Kislyak — whose tenure as ambassador to the United States ended recently — has a reputation for accurately relaying details about his interactions with officials in Washington.
Ambassador Kislyak’s tenure at the Russian Embassy in DC is coming to a close, but he remains both the gift that keeps on giving and the man no one from the 2016 campaign can seem to remember. Ambassador Kislyak is Mearn’s man who wasn’t there.
Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today I wish, I wish he’d go away…
When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door… (slam!)
Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away…
And right now AG Sessions wishes he’d just go away already. What remains to be seen is whether AG Sessions, or anyone else, has gotten the message.