Friday, 19 October, 2018

Contrary to Statements Sessions Discussed Campaign With Russian Ambassador, Intelligence Intercepts Show

People participate in a June 29 rally in New York to protest President Trump's travel ban People participate in a June 29 rally in New York to protest President Trump's travel ban
Ben Pena | 23 July, 2017, 13:40

USA intelligence indicates that during the 2016 presidential race, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak discussed issues related to the Trump campaign, something Sessions repeatedly denied doing.

Sessions would only leave his post if the US President were to fire him, ABC News reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Current and former US intelligence officials told the newspaper that the conflicting information came from intercepted communications between Kislyak and Moscow.

Sessions has provided "misleading" statements that are "contradicted by other evidence", one United States official said. Sessions has repeatedly denied contacting any Russian officials about campaign matters.

The White House push against the special counsel's probe and the attempts to put the focus on potential conflicts with Mueller's team may well be an effort to distract from snowballing federal and congressional investigations into possible election-year coordination between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

He now says he never had any conversations about Russian interference with the campaign. He then recused himself from the investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

Mr Trump maintains that no crimes have been committed.

The president also in one of his many tweets Saturday morning brought up his power to issue pardons, apparently in the context of the Russian Federation probe.

Sessions did not disclose either meeting when he applied for his security clearance.

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President Donald Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and former campaign manager Paul Manafort have agreed to be interviewed by staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee but will not appear at a public hearing next week, the committee said Friday.

The tweets were unusual in their breadth and scope, even for Mr Trump, given the wide variety of topics he touched on as Saturday dawned in the US.

Manafort was as much as $17 million in debt to pro-Russia interests before joining the Trump campaign, records obtained and reported by The New York Times show.

Trump did not specify who, if anyone, he might consider pardoning.

While he can pardon others, the question of whether President Trump can legally pardon himself is unclear, given the Constitution's broad language regarding the matter.

Mr Sessions has recently become a lightning rod for Mr Trump's anger over the probe into allegations of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

These "leaks" from the "Amazon Washington Post", as Trump has now dubbed it, are "illegal", he wrote. Trump Jr. was told the lawyer had damaging information that could be used against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

He sent out tweets on a variety of subjects - the Russian Federation investigation, Hillary Clinton, son Don Jr. and health care.

The revelations could prove to be extremely damaging for Sessions particularly because he had earlier told US officials that he did not remember anything about a meeting that took place in April.

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