WASHINGTON- Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to report meetings he had had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on his security clearance application, according to senior Justice Department officials who spoke with CNN on Wednesday.
Sessions in early March recused himself from the Justice Department’s Trump-Russia probe following The Washington Post reporting that he had twice met with Kislyak while a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with any Russian officials while serving as a Trump campaign surrogate.
Following The Post’s report, Judiciary Committee Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), said Sessions committed perjury.
The Justice Department released the following statement defending Sessions:
“As a United States Senator, the Attorney General met hundreds-if not thousands-of foreign dignitaries and their staff. In filling out the SF-86 form, the Attorney General’s staff consulted with those familiar with the process, as well as the FBI investigator handling the background check, and was instructed not to list meetings with foreign dignitaries and their staff connected with his Senate activities.”
Following CNN’s report Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for Sessions to resign.