The Latest: Sessions doesn't recall talk with Carter Page


The Latest on testimony by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that he does not remember speaking to Carter Page during the 2016 presidential campaign about a trip that the former foreign policy campaign adviser took to Russia.

Page told the House intelligence committee earlier this month that he had informed some members of the Trump campaign about the trip, including Sessions. He said he mentioned in passing to Sessions that he was visiting Russia and Sessions had no reaction.

Page's trip has drawn scrutiny in probes of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.

Sessions said he doesn't challenge Page's recollection, but doesn't remember the conversation. He said the Trump campaign "was a brilliant campaign in many ways. But it was a form of chaos every day from day one."

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10:45 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department "can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents."

Sessions' statement was in response to questions from members of the House Judiciary Committee asking about President Donald Trump's tweets suggesting that Sessions investigate Democratic rivals.

Sessions on Monday left open the possibility that a special counsel could be appointed to look into Clinton Foundation dealings and an Obama-era uranium deal.

But before the committee Tuesday, he denied Trump has influenced his decision-making. Sessions says that would be improper.

Sessions told the committee: "I have not been improperly influenced and would not be improperly influenced" despite the president's "bold" comments.

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10:22 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he thinks he told former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that he wasn't authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government.

Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about foreign contacts. He was part of a foreign policy council that Sessions chaired, and charging documents in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation indicate that Papadopoulos told the council that he could help arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

An attendee at the meeting recalled that Sessions quickly shut the conversation down.

Sessions said that to his recollection, "I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter."

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4:17 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leaving open the possibility that a special counsel could be appointed to look into Clinton Foundation dealings and an Obama-era uranium deal. The Justice Department made the announcement Monday in responding to concerns from Republican lawmakers.

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, which is holding an oversight hearing Tuesday, the Justice Department said Sessions had directed senior federal prosecutors to "evaluate certain issues" raised by Republican lawmakers. President Donald Trump has also repeatedly called for investigations of Democrats.

The prosecutors will report their findings to Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.


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