Page: Conversation with Sessions about Russian Federation trip was 'a brief comment'

Sam Clovis speaks during a news conference as then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump left watches before a campaign rally in Dubuque Iowa

Sessions' failure to disclose those meetings ultimately led to his recusal from the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation, and functioned as one of the many missteps that triggered the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. The documents seem to show George Papadopoulos was the adviser who offered to set up the meeting.

Sessions "needs to come back before the committee, in person, under oath, to explain why he can not seem to provide truthful, complete answers", Senator Patrick Leahy, the panel's senior Democrat, said in a statement.

Senate Republicans have not rushed to Sessions's defense but were less ruffled about his participation in the Papadopoulos meeting.

A Sessions spokeswoman declined to comment this week on the March 31 meeting with Trump and campaign advisers, including Papadopoulos.

The New York Times, citing an anonymous campaign aide who attended the meeting, said Trump "listened with interest" to Papadopoulos' pitch and asked several questions.

"I did not, and I'm not aware of anyone else that did, and I don't believe it happened", Sessions said. "He said Sessions did not react or comment one way or the other", Conaway told CNN. "The attorney general immediately dismissed it and moved on". But on Thursday, the person familiar with Sessions' recollections said, "the attorney general has no clear recollection of this person". "I'd like to minimize bringing more people into it".

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This is not the first time lawmakers have accused Sessions of withholding information from congressional testimony about interactions with or about Russians while working with the Trump campaign. Page's account directly contradicted the under oath account from Sessions, who denied knowledge of such a trip while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Under pressure, Sessions later recused himself from the Department of Justice investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) demanded that Sessions clarify his past statements and Sen. Democrats on the committee, including Franken, are now arguing that statement may have been false, too. Instead, he is suggesting that the attorney general be allowed to submit updated written testimony, they said. Christopher Coons, D-Del., another member of the Judiciary Committee.

Papadopoulos said in the email that he was acting "to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S. -Russia ties under President Trump", court records indicate.

But Chris Wallace warns that any Democrats thinking about wanting to push Sessions out of office might want to reconsider.

During his January 10 confirmation hearing, Sessions said he was "not aware" of anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign coordinating with the Russian government when asked about such ties by Franken.

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