Alice Ollstein contributed reporting.
Sen. James Risch (R-ID) said on Thursday that he has no concerns “at all” that Attorney General Jeff Sessions could have misled or lied to a Senate committee during his confirmation hearing when he claimed that he did not have contact with Russia before the election.
Asked if he had concerns that Sessions misled the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing in January, Risch told TPM: “None at all.”
“No, none at all. I’m on Foreign Relations and on Intelligence,” he added, referring to the Senate committees. “In the last 24 months I’ve met with high-ranking officials from half the countries on the face of this earth. If you asked me which ones I did, I couldn’t tell.”
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) also said Thursday there was no evidence that Sessions lied under oath.
“We really don’t know what the facts are,” he said. “That’s why I’m saying the investigation ought to be completed.”
Sessions denied in a written questionnaire and during his Senate confirmation hearing in January that he had “communications with Russians.” On Thursday, however, Sessions’ spokeswoman confirmed that Sessions met twice before the election with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.
Sessions denied in a statement released Wednesday that he discussed “issues of the campaign” with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“I have no idea what this allegation is about,” the Attorney General said. “It is false.”