Speed Reads


Sessions claims he never met with Russia representatives. This lobbyist says they had dinner twice.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was specifically asked Tuesday when he testified under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee whether he'd had "any contacts with any representative, including any American lobbyist or agent of any Russian company" during the U.S. presidential election. Sessions responded, "I don't believe so." However, on Thursday, an American lobbyist who has represented Russian interests in Washington told The Guardian that Sessions hosted him twice for dinner during the campaign.

Sessions apparently invited lobbyist Richard Burt, who served as an ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, to talk about foreign policy and national security issues. The dinners happened right around when it was revealed to the public that Russia had meddled in the U.S. presidential election.

Burt said he "did not know" whether Sessions was aware of his lobbying work for Russian interests, which The Guardian noted is "disclosed in public records." Burt previously served on the advisory board of a private equity fund that Russia's Alfa Bank was an investor in, and last year he lobbied on behalf of a pipeline company controlled by a Russian state-run energy company.