Jeff Sessions used campaign funds, not Senate account, when meeting Russian ambassador

Jeff Sessions speaks at the RNC in Cleveland
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that he did not lie under oath when he volunteered at his Senate confirmation hearing that he had "been called a surrogate a a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians," because during the two or more meetings he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak while he was the chairman of then-candidate Donald Trump's National Security Advisory Committee, he was acting in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, not as a Trump campaign official. During the first of the two meetings Sessions recalls, however, he was using campaign funds for his travel, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sessions met Kislyak at a Heritage Foundation event during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and campaign finance records show that he paid for his lodging with funds from his re-election campaign, suggesting he was not in Cleveland on official Senate business. Also, a person at the event tells the Journal that Sessions and Kislyak discussed the Trump campaign at the event, specifically Trump's trade policy, and that Sessions gave the impression he was there as a Trump campaign official.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.