Trump’s Defense Is That Sessions Perjured Himself

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One occupational hazard of political blogging is that you will shut your lights off at night with a good idea in your head about what you’re going to write about in the morning only to discover at dawn that someone has done an adequate job of it while you were sleeping. In this case, I was victimized by Marcy Wheeler and her piece: Jeff Sessions Unforgets the Discussions with Russians He Twice Swore He Didn’t Know About.

I had noticed more than one article last night that cited people in the Trump administration or its close orbit who attended a March 31st, 2016 meeting at the Trump Hotel in Washington in which George Papadopoulos raised the prospect of a personal meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin. These sources were admitting that Papadopoulos made the pitch, but insisting that Jeff Sessions eventually cut him off, said it was a bad idea, and requested that the topic not be brought up again.

Here’s the New York Times’s version:

Mr. Clovis and others immediately expressed doubts about the wisdom of the idea, noting that Russia was under United States sanctions and denouncing the “optics” of a meeting with Mr. Putin, according to a former campaign aide who attended the meeting.

But Mr. Trump listened with interest and asked questions of Mr. Papadopoulos. Mr. Trump “didn’t say yes, and he didn’t say no,” said the former aide, who agreed to describe the meeting on the condition of anonymity.

Finally, Mr. Sessions, as the campaign’s top national security official, spoke vehemently against the idea, asking others not to discuss it again. Mr. Trump did not challenge him, the former aide said.

Here is the version provided by CNN:

Candidate Donald Trump did not dismiss the idea of arranging a meeting with Russia’s president when it was suggested in a meeting with his campaign foreign policy advisers last year, according to a person in the room.

The idea was raised by George Papadopoulos as he introduced himself at a March 2016 meeting of the Republican candidate’s foreign policy advisers, according to a court filing.

“He didn’t say yes and he didn’t say no,” the official said, declining to be more specific about Trump’s response to Papadopoulos.

But the chairman of Trump’s national security team, then Alabama senator and now attorney general Jeff Sessions, shut down the idea of a Putin meeting at the March 31, 2016, gathering, according to the source. His reaction was confirmed with another source who had discussed Session’s role.

Obviously, Marcy noticed the same thing as I did and beat me to the punch of spelling out why this, if true, is the clearest evidence yet that Jeff Sessions perjured himself under questioning from Congress.

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