Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied during his Senate confirmation hearing in January that he had “communications with Russians.” On Thursday, however, his spokeswoman confirmed that Sessions met twice with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before the election.
“If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?” Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) asked.
“I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on that,” Sessions, at the time a senator and Trump’s nominee for attorney general, replied.
Sessions also denied a written question asking if he had discussed the 2016 election with any Russian officials during the campaign, as noted by the Washington Post, which first broke the news of his contact with Kislyak.
In a statement released Wednesday, Sessions denied that he discussed “issues of the campaign” with Kislyak.
“I have no idea what this allegation is about,” he said. “It is false.”
Following the report, Democrats reiterated their calls for an independent investigation into any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia and began to call for Sessions to resign as attorney general.
House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said Sessions should recuse himself from investigations related to Russia in the wake of the revelation.