Carter Page met with Russian government officials during 2016 trip

Lock them up How President Trump wades into justice casesMore

Lock them up How President Trump wades into justice casesMore

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing renewed questions over how much he knew about Russian efforts to interfere with the US election, after it was revealed this week that he attended meetings with a Trump campaign adviser who claimed to have extensive contacts with Russians.

CNN reported Wednesday that 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 a year ago.

"I don't think he told me the truth", Franken told ABC News.

Papadopoulos - who boasted of his Russian connection in at least one meeting Sessions attended - pleaded guilty to lying about the timing of those contacts, becoming the first person who served on Trump's campaign to admit to committing a crime.

Also, it was only a matter of time before people began speculating who would be cast to play him in the inevitable made-for-TV movie about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation campaign-meddling investigation. "As far as Sessions seemed to be concerned, when he shut down this idea of Papadopoulos engaging with Russian Federation, that was the end of it and he moved the meeting along to other issues". A post on Trump's Instagram account shows the March 31, 2016, meeting taking place, with the candidate, Sessions and Papadopoulos all present.

Reported testimony from former campaign policy adviser Carter Page only adds to questions about what Sessions knew.

A source close to Sessions defended the attorney general, promising he "has been entirely truthful and consistent on this matter".

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It concerned various Russian contacts, including Joseph Mifsud, a London academic who allegedly spent months trying to connect Papadopoulos with official in Moscow, according to news reports.

Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) issued statements demanding Sessions testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He told Tapper his interactions with Papadopoulos during the campaign were limited to a "couple of brief conversations" and a "few emails".

"He needs to clarify his testimony before our committee", said Judiciary Committee member Sen.

Josh Chafetz, a professor at Cornell University Law School, said lawmakers could try to use "various other tools in the congressional arsenal", from reducing Justice Department appropriations to refusing to confirm appointees reporting to him.

Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also looking into allegations of collusion and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, also want a reckoning from Sessions.

"I was one of many people on that e-mail chain", Page said. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a member of the panel.

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