Jeff Sessions

There's Nothing Wrong With Talking to Russians

Calls for Jeff Sessions' resignation grow from Democrats, but engagement isn't a sin.

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Senate

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had at least two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak, in 2016, The Washington Post reports, something his critics in Congress and elsewhere say contradicts statements made under oath during his confirmation hearing.

In his confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) what he would do if there were any evidence revealed about communications between associates of the Trump campaign and the Russian government. As part of his answer, Sessions offered this denial: "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."

Later, in a written follow-up from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Sessions whether he had any contact with "anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election." Sessions gave a one-word answer: No. No evidence has been offered that the two conversations Sessions had with the Russian ambassador—one at a Heritage event in Cleveland during the RNC, and one being a conversation with the ambassador in Sessions' senate office (The Washington Post reports this was an in-person conversation, The Wall Street Journal and others that it was over the phone)—were substantively about the 2016 election.

Now that the two conversations with Kislyak have been revealed, Democrats and media are shouting "gotcha." And if there was, in fact, election talk in these meetings, Sessions should recuse himself from any investigations into Russian meddling in U.S. elections. The fact that he's very nearly confessed to being a Trump surrogate is reason enough for some red flags to go up already.

But meetings between U.S. officials and foreign ambassadors, even of countries many insist are "hostile," are par for the course. The U.S. should engage with any country willing to engage, on any issue where there might be convergence. The U.S. and Russia, recent anti-Russia hysteria aside, have complex relations. In the last year, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. met with, among others, the administrator of NASA and the governor of Tennessee (though neither of these appeared to be unforthcoming about their meetings). Last month he was scheduled to attend a physics conference also attended by Los Alamos scientists.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), for example, went to Twitter to insist she had never met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., something a few seconds of Googling would uncover as untrue. Kislyak met with McCaskill and other senators in 2013 over international adoptions. After her meeting with Kislyak became widely reported, McCaskill began to dissemble on Twitter, insisting she "never received [a] call or request." Finally, she described the adoption meeting as one which the Russian ambassador "also attended." In fact, the senators met specifically with Kislyak to lobby him for an easing of adoption rules.

This is normal. Senators meet ambassadors and should continue to do so, as such meetings make it more difficult to dehumanize an opponent and for warmongering hysteria to take hold. McCaskill also suggested Armed Services committee members don't generally meet with ambassadors; this was followed by photos circulating on social media of the senator meeting with various ambassadors from around the world. Elected officials should be encouraged to meet and talk to foreign officials, and to visit foreign countries to talk to officials, be they from Canada, Cuba, or Syria. Engagement is a powerful prophylactic to unnecessary hostilities and war.

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137 responses to “There's Nothing Wrong With Talking to Russians

  1. In the last year, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. met with, among others, the administrator of NASA and the governor of Tennessee

    So what you’re saying is that Putin is going to seize control over the South?

  2. I assume Claire McCaskill is going to fire whomever operates her Twitter account.

    1. She should blame the tweet on Russian Hackers. That’s what Hillary would do.

    2. This Russian ambassador is just an extremely uninteresting person.

      1. His self esteem must really be hurting right now. No one who’s ever met him seems to remember him.

  3. I foresee a big ratings jump this season for The Americans

    1. Would someone just please kill Pastor Tim already?

    2. NARCISSISTIC FACT: I color graded that trailer. And I am grading a new trailer RIGHT NOW.

      1. These masturbation euphemisms are getting pretty abstract.

  4. I dunno I hope this does become over-hyped and forces him to resign due to being such a huge distraction from every single thing he does. Maybe we can get someone a little more pro states rights in their.

    1. In their what? Don’t leave us hanging!

      1. Right in there ass, ass!

      2. The Russians got him before he could tell you about

    2. I can empathize with this sentiment, but I’m generally a principles not principals kind of guy, so I can’t really say that I want Sessions to have to resign over something that he really didn’t do wrong. I’d rather see him resign over an actual wrongdoing, of which there will probably be many to choose from.

      1. Agreed. I’d love to see Sessions go, but not over this. Barring any major new revelations, this just doesn’t look like anything to get outraged over.

  5. Was john Kerry violating the logan act when he lost an election and took it on himself to negotiate with north vietnam?

    1. and more recently when McCain supposedly called the Australian Prime Minister to apologize for President Trumps phone conversation

    2. I think Fox and Rupert Murdoch are behind all of this hubbub, as stealth promotion for both The Americans and Logan.

  6. McCaskill … went to Twitter to insist she had never met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., something a few seconds of Googling would uncover as untrue.

    BAN THE INTERNET!

    1. Now the progressive’s desire to regulate the internet makes perfect sense.

  7. All true, but when his first response — under oath! — to “how would you handle an investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, if those allegations bear out” was “What contacts with Russia? I don’t know about contacts with Russia. I certainly didn’t talk to them!” and it turns out he did, maybe that’s worth looking into further.

    1. paraphrasing the verbal exchange is disingenuous and misleading.

      The full transcript clearly shows that he answered the question very specifically, denying, as a campaign surrogate, interactions with the Russians.

      Since Bork, every single person being confirmed in front of Congress is extremely limited in how they respond to questions. He was under no obligation to expand…no different than talking to LEOs. The congress critters are asking you questions for the sole purpose of finding avenues for attack.

      1. Franken asked how Sessions, as Attorney General, would deal with allegations against members of the Trump campaign. The answer he was looking for was either “I’d handle it myself” (which becomes an avenue of attack, claiming conflicts of interest) or “I’d recuse myself” (which becomes a win for Team Blue). Sessions leapt to denying that he’d personally done anything like that totally on his own, and could have easily answered the question without bringing it up.

  8. “Somebody should write about the Russian thing, I guess. Who is going to do it? I need a volunteer. Anybody?”

    I guess Ed drew the short straw. (jk, jk)

  9. Anybody can talk to the Russians including me the problem is when they lie about it. what the fuck is wrong with these people tell the truth always and life will be so much easier

    1. So have you been communicating with Russians, Ron?

      1. in Ron’s defense, distinguishing eastern bloc accents are so hard with today’s under-the-docks sex workers.

        1. Sex worker: “You know, i vas born poor boy in Chelyabinsk…”

          Ron: “You mean ‘poor girl’ rite. Please tell me you mean poor girl”

          Sex worker: [stares]

    2. “Shit, you wanna talk to some Russians? I can get you some Russians to talk to in under an hour.”

      1. I got a guy. Everybody should have a guy.

      2. There are ways, dude, you don’t want to know.

      3. “With nail polish!”

    3. It’s like they have hack sitcom writers controlling what they say.

      1. Think of it from Sessions POV. He is up there with Democrats asking questions designed to trip him up. He also knows the media is going to dissect everything he says. So he is naturally going to be conservative and careful about what he says. So here comes Franken who asks this long winded question that allows him to grandstand about Trump’s campaign colluding with the Russians. And he finishes by asking

        Again, I’m telling you this as it’s coming out, so you know. But if it’s true, it’s obviously extremely serious, and 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?

        So Sessions says

        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 it.

        Sessions says the only thing he could say, which is “I don’t know what the hell you are talking about”. It is clear he is talking about communications with the Russians in his role with the campaign. I guess he could have said, “I met with the Russians but only in my capacity as Senator”. But that isn’t what they were talking about. In his capacity with the campaign, he never met with the Russians and doesn’t know anyone who did. That is as far as I have seen, entirely truthful.

        1. He could have not brought up his meetings with foreign dignitaries at all, and just answered – or non-answered – the actual question. “I’d have to make that decision based on the evidence before me at the time, not a description of a news article at a hearing, but I would certainly consider it very seriously,” or something to that effect. The question wasn’t about what he did as a surrogate, it was asking what he’d do as Attorney General.

          1. There isn’t any way to answer Franken’s question. More importantly, to try and directly answer it is to give the accusation credence. Franken asked it specifically to try and for Sessions to give the accusation credence. It is a variation on the “have you stopped beating your wife” question.

            So, David, what are you going to do when it turns out that wife of yours is out whoring herself out? If you answer the question directly and say “divorce her” you are admitting that she might be out doing that.

            So Sessions wasn’t and shouldn’t have given the answer you propose because doing so would have granted that there was a possibility that Trump really was working with the Russians, which is something Sessions was no doubt coached and determined not to do. So Sessions ignored the question and went after the assumption behind it, which was the right thing to do.

            1. Bullshit there isn’t, Scott Pruitt handled way more complicated attempts at “gotcha” questions at his hearing and he has the IQ of a block of Velveeta.

              Judicious answer to “what are you going to do when it turns out that wife of yours is out whoring herself out?”: I don’t have any reason to believe my wife is unfaithful, but if somebody told me she was then I’d consider my next action carefully, and only after I had all the facts.

              Stupid, Sessions-esque non-sequitur answer to “what are you going to do when it turns out that wife of yours is out whoring herself out?”: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve never had an affair.

              1. Judicious answer to “what are you going to do when it turns out that wife of yours is out whoring herself out?”: I don’t have any reason to believe my wife is unfaithful, but if somebody told me she was then I’d consider my next action carefully, and only after I had all the facts.

                Sure, that is a great answer. Lets have the phrase “your wife is a whore” repeated on TV one more time.

                Regardless, you may have liked your answer better, that doesn’t make Sessions’ answer any less truthful in the context.

                I get it, you don’t like Sessions. I really don’t either. But this is idiotic. You are not helping team Blue here. Sometimes the marching orders are wrong.

                1. I’m not trying to help Team Blue. I’m telling you, as someone who’s had to sit through a LOT of adversarial Congressional hearings with gotcha questions, why Sessions’ answer went way past what he needed to say in order to deflect the question — which makes it more noteworthy that the information he volunteered out of nowhere turned out not to be true.

                  He didn’t have to say any more than “I don’t know what you’re talking about” if he really didn’t want to. The question wasn’t about his contacts with Russia in any way at all. If he’d stopped after “I’m not aware of any of those activities” we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

            2. I don’t see what’s wrong with saying he’d recuse himself. It would be the right thing to do, he wouldn’t get trapped in a not-entirely-a-lie-but-not-entirely-the-truth, and no, it doesn’t give the premise any more credence, as it’s clearly a hypothetical.

              But no, the important thing is Team Red.

              1. What is there to investigate? Everything that happened is a matter of public record. We know he met with the Ambassador and we know what he said to the Senate. It is what it is. What would an investigation reveal? There are no facts that need to be found. We know the facts. You investigate when there is something to investigate.

                If you think that he is guilty of perjury, write your Congressman and demand he be impeached. Have fun tilting that windmill and debating what this all means. But there is nothing to investigate and thus no investigation for him to recuse himself from.

                And just because you are not Team whatever, doesn’t mean you have to turn your brain off and join team retard. If it kills you to say that there is nothing to this, don’t say anything. anything is better than joining team retard and pretending there is.

                Or more likely, just be honest and admit you will believe anything for team blue.

                1. admit you will believe anything for team blue.

                  You are living in a bizarro universe.

                  1. It the universe where you investigate to determine facts. Not whatever universe that you live in where you investigate when we know the facts.

                    Maybe you are not team Blue Marty. I only accuse you of it because I can’t believe you are this stupid. Hey, if you really are this stupid and are not just being a team blue hack here, I stand corrected. You are not team blue.

                    1. Wow, you’re a real people person.

                  2. Hey JACKASS EYES get a clue the “team” blue and red concept you mention is exactly the problem with our political system and is the reason all of us suffer! YOU NOTICE I STATED “OUR” political system! This was on full idiotic display during the State of the Union Address!!!

                    The self deprecating, disrespecting and clueless one side of the chamber really made history showing asses or themselves!

                    The kindergarten suck on the pacifier constant stagnation did not and is not making me proud!!!!!

              2. The problem with saying you’d recuse yourself is you’re soon on the path to a special prosecutor being demanded for everything where you’ve had a thought or opinion, however remotely connected, and you have no personal control over the most important things your department is working on. And whereas deciding there’s nothing there and stopping an investigation just gets you assigned to another project if you’re in the Justice Department, if you’re a special prosecutor it’s the equivalent of writing your own pink slip. Therefore, there’s a higher incentive to find something, even if it’s nothing, and pursue it.

                The important thing, then, is not Team Red. It is making sure that you aren’t procedurally prevented from running the government department you’re responsible for. Lest we forget, the last time an Attorney General recused herself from a case connected to an election where her personal connections were an issue, James Comey became a household name.

          2. These key words, quoted above, keep being left out. “about the 2016 election.”

            1. Good for You, Bubba

        2. IOW, the Hillary defense: I didn’t do anything wrong, but I knew the other party would roast me anyway, so I hid my non-wrong doings.”

          In both cases, the actual content is/was surely way overblown; but telling an overtly to cover up an action that is only mildly and superficially suspicious is like washing your hands in shit to rub off dirt. Streisand effect and all that.

          Sessions should’ve either admitted he has casual, above board chats with the ambassador, let Dems try to blow it out of proportion, then watch it all slide off; or he should’ve been vague enough to give himself an out. He did neither.

      2. The other thing is that Sessions met with all kinds of foreign emissaries as a Senator. All of which are publically known and entirely appropriate. I ask you which is more likely, that Sessions heard Franken question and thought “my God, they have got me I met with the Russian Ambassador that time” and proceeded to deny everything or that Sessions, after listening to Franken drone on about the campaign and Russian collusion, said he didn’t know anything about it and didn’t meet with any Russians forgetting that he had met with the ambassador in his role as a Senator?

        I am going with the latter. And since perjury is a specific intent crime and has to involve an intentional lie about a material fact, that Sessions is in no way guilty of perjury. The only way you can conclude otherwise is to assume that Sessions actually did engage in some kind of nefarious plot with the Russians and thus had a reason to lie. And there is no evidence that that is true and it is an absurd claim anyway, which is why no one is directly making it and instead screaming about how he LIED!!

    4. He did not lie. Stop believing the fake news and read the full transcript yourself.

      1. I don’t think he deliberately lied. But he did undeniably utter a statement that, in the plain language, is untrue.

        It’s something that anyone could easily do. But as a lawyer and politician, he ought to know that people who don’t like him are going to try to interpret it in the worst possible way.

        1. I don’t think he deliberately lied.

          Then you don’t think he committed perjury. And if he didn’t commit perjury, this entire thing is just a manufactured pile of bullshit.

        2. He didn’t say he never “met” with any Russian officials. He said he had no “communications” with the Russians, which in the context of the discussion meant that having discussion with the “Russian government” regarding the dossier as a formal representative of the Trump campaign.

          Question

          “But if it’s true, it’s obviously extremely serious, and 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?”

          Answer

          “Senator Franken, 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 it.”

          The nothingness.

          1. It’s probably vague enough to give him plausible deniability, talking definitely counts as communication, and in the diplomatic sense no one equals ‘the Russians’ more than their ambassador to the US. At best Sessions chose his words very poorly.

            It’s kind of amazing, they’re politicians: they’re supposed to be experts not committing themselves to a position. Dropped the ball here.

            1. “in the course of this campaign”

        3. “about the 2016 election.”

          1. Keep trying, but they don’t see it because it blows up the narrative.

  10. It isn’t the conversation itself, I strongly doubt there was anything illicit discussed, it’s the hypocrisy of a law-and-order official caught lying to congress, as though laws are just for the little people, not for him.

  11. And while Leahy’s question gives him the out of maintaining that the question was in the context of the election, Franken’s question did not, and there’s no question he lied on that one.

    Of course, I’m among the people that want that fucker out, and I don’t really care how it happens.

    1. They were both very clearly in the context of the election.

    2. Franken’s question wasn’t even about whether Sessions talked to Russian officials. Sessions took it upon himself to answer by saying that he hadn’t, unequivocally.

      1. That’s what makes Sessions answer even dumber.

      2. He did not lie FFS. read the transcript. He was very specific in how he answered.

        1. Yeah, I fell for the vid that’s been floating around; it is carefully edited to remove the part regarding the election.
          Lefty slimeballs.

      3. “in the course of this campaign”

  12. I don’t care how it happens. Jeff Sessions can resign at any time and I’d be ok with it.

  13. This would all make a lot more sense to me if Comey was a Russian.

  14. on this issue, i’m blinded by my rage over civil asset forfeiture and will recuse myself from further discussion (except for the discussion above about Ron’s inability to distinguish eastern bloc accents on today’s sex workers).

  15. You know who else met with the Russians?

    1. The Clintons?

    2. Tyghyn Darkhan, King of the Yakuts?

    3. James Bond

    4. USS Dallas?

    5. Drumpf. In 2013.

    6. Sergeant Slaughter?

  16. It won’t bother me a bit if Sessions has to resign.

    On Derpbook the progs are all shouting “Treason! Treason! And the entire Republican Party is in on it! Impeach Trump!” I kinda wish they would impeach Trump, not only because I think we should impeach presidents more often but also because I can’t wait to see the looks on the progs’ faces when they find out that impeaching Trump doesn’t mean Hillary gets to be president.

    1. What do they say when someone asks “so, you want president Pence, eh?”?

      I do agree that we should have a lot more impeachments and one term presidents. Why do people keep reelecting these assholes?

    2. Oh, they know they’ll face the next horror of Pence. But at least they think he’ll be less likely to accidentally start a war, and might embarrass our country a little less, and would be more likely kick Bannon to the curb.

    3. In their fantasy world they think they’re going to be able to impeach both Trump and Pence, and then there’ll be a new election for president and Hillary will surely win this time.

      Seriously, I’ve seen some of them make that argument with a straight face, and then accuse anyone pointing out that there’s a defined order of succession and that Paul Ryan would become President until the next election in 2020 of being a right wing troll. These people are fucking morons.

      1. Or they’re betting that their newest big hero, Oprah, will come and save their America in 2020. The reality is, however, is that if the economy is growing in 2020 and if no new wars are started, he’ll be reelected whether the far left likes it or not.

      2. President Paul Ryan!

        1. Convene a grand jury on Hillary. That will shift the discussion!

  17. As much as I hate Sessions, this is just typical DNC/MSM mountains out of mole hills they always do.

    1. I want to get excited over the possibility of a likely super-statist resigning before he can do any damage, but the reality is that principles are more important to me, and what the left is accusing him of doing isn’t all that much of a bad thing to begin with. Certainly isn’t fireable, at least, and seems more like your usual leftist grandstanding.

      1. They just want to keep on harping about the Russians and establish that reference in the public’s mind. It’s a losing strategy because there are way too many other things people care about more than being butthurt over Hillary losing.

      2. Certainly isn’t fireable, at least, and seems more like your usual leftist grandstanding.

        Depends on exactly what they talked about, which no one knows, but yeah, probably not fire-able/ impeachable. Unless they specifically talked about the Russians hacking Hillary’s email to help out Trump in exchange for Trump letting them have Crimea (which they pretty much have, and there’s not much we can do about it) and/or lift the sanctions, then this is a big nothing burger.

        But the left is so desperate to find some kind of smoking gun to prove a link between Trump and the Russians to “prove” that the Russians “stole” the election for him that they’re grasping at straws to the point of the whole thing becoming a total farce.

        1. Unless they specifically talked about the Russians hacking Hillary’s email to help out Trump in exchange for Trump letting them have Crimea

          If it were the case that Trump was working with the Russians, why would the Russians have their ambassador over blabbing about it to Sessions? Trump and the Russians decide to make a secret deal and their way of communicating is by Sessions talking to the Russian ambassador one time in his office?

          I guess it is possible, but that is a pretty outlandish claim and one for which there isn’t a shred of evidence.

          1. I guess it is possible, but that is a pretty outlandish claim and one for which there isn’t a shred of evidence.

            I never claimed there was a shred of evidence, I was throwing it out there as a purely speculative example of a topic of conversation that would be a fireable offense. I doubt they talked about anything like that. They probably didn’t just make small talk about the weather, but I highly doubt it was anything salacious either.

            1. And there you have the root of the fallacy the media and the Democrats are engaging in here. The only way this “lie” matters is if there is something sordid about Sessions meeting with the ambassador. If there isn’t, then the whole thing evaporates. Sessions just misspoke or he forgot. Of course, as you point out, there isn’t any evidence or any likelihood that there was anything sordid about the meeting. The media and the Democrats don’t mention that or even directly state that there is., They just imply there is by acting like Sessions’ statement matters.

              1. “I forgot” is only believable of you start with it. If you try another excuse for why you really right, and only try “I forgot” after that fails, is not believable.

                Misspoke is similar, but with him asserting twice he had no contact, that’s less believable to stay with.

                1. Exactly, and what chafes me is that you just know that if it was one of the little people caught in a completely innocent misrememberence Mr. Law and Order would be all over it.

                  1. The law of Perjury is what it is. I am not going to pretend it is a strict liability crime because you have some fantasy about how Jeff Sessions views it.

                    1. Not my fantasy, you can read/hear his remarks on Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations” “perjury”.

  18. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), for example, went to Twitter to insist she had never met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., something a few seconds of Googling would uncover as untrue. …

    … McCaskill also suggested Armed Services committee members don’t generally meet with ambassadors; this was followed by photos circulating on social media of the senator meeting with various ambassadors from around the world.

    Hoisted by her own retard. Maybe the stupid twunt should just keep her stupid twunt mouth shut.

  19. When do the investigations into Claire McCaskill and the Democrats’ attempted collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election begin in earnest?

    1. The MSM won’t cover it, but the progs online are certainly watching IMO. Her seat is up in 2018, and gaffes like this will only further their drive to primary her out with a far left candidate. Since she reps Missouri, they’ll be shooting themselves in the foot, but stuff like this only makes the “Resist” crowd even angrier, pretty funny.

  20. There’s Nothing Wrong With Talking to Russians

    Agreed. There’s nothing wrong likewise, admitting that you talked to Russians either.

    Now that the two conversations with Kislyak have been revealed, Democrats and media are shouting “gotcha.”
    Say, tell us more about the EIGHT investigations as to what really happened at Benghazi.

    1. Yeah. Because a single public meeting between a Senator on the Foreign Relations committee and the Russian Ambassador is totally the same thing and worthy of investigation as the murder of an American ambassador and the President’s lying and trying to blame it on a youtube video. Totally the same thing.

      1. They met in a private office and Sessions was not a member of the Foreign Relations committee.

    2. People actually died in Benghazi. To date, there is literally not one single scrap of evidence anywhere that anything whatsoever untoward occurred with the Russians, much less that there was an injured party anywhere at all.

      I feel/felt like most of the Benghazi crap was overblown partisan gotcha bullshit, but the two are not analogous. One, though probably far overblown and exploited, was based on a real-world incident, with real-world results. The other one is based on nothing thus far but delusional rumor-mongering and paranoid conspiracy theories.

      1. The only people who died in Benghazi are people who agreed to work for Obama and Hillary.

        So, there’s that.

        1. I don’t know. I think the one CIA guy was working for the USA, not just Hillary!

  21. The whining from the left isn’t going to end.
    WE DON’T CARE WHO SPOKE WITH THE RUSSIANS. YOUR CANDIDATE WAS SO FUCKING PATHETIC SHE LOST TO TRUMP.
    Now, get lost.

    1. And it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference who hacked the Dem’s and/or Hillary’s illegal server and exposed all of their dirty laundry for everyone to see.

      It WAS their dirty laundry and it was all true and we all had a right to know about every bit of it.

      So, yeah get lost.

      1. Interfering in an election would be leaking false information about one side or another. Leaking truthful but embarrassing information is not interference. It is a public service.

  22. Folks dont engage konima like earlier…it is bo cara. He makes a habit of being dishonest

  23. The problem isn’t the meeting. If his explanation is true, then as said, is just part of the job.

    The problem is he lied about it under oath instead of saying “I’ve met with the Russian ambassador in the last year as part of my senatorial duties, but never as a representative of the Trump campaign or to discuss election issues.”. Sure, some pundits would have tried to play “gotcha”, but (if he’s honest this time around) he did nothing wrong and most would have seen that.

    The problem is that, caught in a lie once, you lose the benefit of the doubt. And if he lied when there was no reason to, how will we ever trust him when he’s incentivized to lie?

    Does mean he should resign? Don’t know. But if he doesn’t, then fold are saying “you can lie under oath to get one of the top jobs in America and no one will care”

    1. How do you know he lied? Lying means intentional deception. You admit there was nothing wrong about the meeting. So why would he lie about it? And since he has no reason to lie, isn’t it more likely he just forgot about the meeting or misunderstood Franken’s question or misspoke? Even if the statement were false, that doesn’t make it a lie. A lie requires intent. And there is no evidence he intended to lie and whole lot of circumstantial evidence that say otherwise.

      1. The “whoops, I forgot about that time” would be a loot more believable of it was his first excuse. And if he hadn’t doubled down in writing.

        But trying “I forgot” after you’ve already used “but we didn’t talk about the campaign”? Not convincing.

        Really, the whole thing makes me think of when I filled out my SF-86. I’m most cases a lie about something was worse then the something itself.

  24. Mountain out of molehill, yeah well, he just recused himself.

  25. Also, Franken.

  26. Ok here’s a theory, the Russian ambassador puts some kind of brainwashing hypnosis on people to get them to give out their passwords. Then after they snap out of it they don’t remember the entire encounter, a common tactic of hypnotic suggestion in the movies.

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  28. Of course it’s normal, and desirable, for our public officials to meet with representatives of foreign governments. Sessions met with the Russian ambassador in his capacity as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is precisely what he should have been doing. And if they met again at the Republican Convention, so what? At that time Sessions wasn’t a nominee for any position in the Trump administration, and it wouldn’t have mattered if he were. And the election was long over by then anyway, so whatever “meddling” they might have done was long past.

    This is an idiotic attempt to create a faux scandal. I am no fan of Sessions, and would have preferred to see someone more concerned with individual liberties as Attorney General, but this is utter nonsense. All the Democrats are doing is prolonging the time before the administration can be fully staffed and the government become fully functional. This is just stupid.

    1. The Democrats could, of course, criticize him for something of substance, like his support for asset confiscation. But of course Democrats aren’t against asset confiscation.

      But now any Democrat who talks to a Russian is a hypocrite!

  29. “Engagement is a powerful prophylactic to unnecessary hostilities and war.”

    Reasonable people would agree that hostilities and war are not only unnecessary but undesirable. However, not all people are reasonable and even those who are reasonable are, at times, very unreasonable.

    Such is the case among many of those employed in the US military/intelligence/foreign policy establishment in regards to Russia. Whatever Putin’s or Russia’s intentions, neither is a threat to US or to Europe. Here are the numbers:

    Russia population (2013) 143 million
    NATO population (CIA) 906 million
    Russia GDP (2013) 2 trillion (USD)
    NATO GDP (CIA) 36 trillion (USD)

    With numbers like these, Russia would be mad to start a war with NATO – as Putin has said. But if a NATO country attacked Russia, Russia’s only effective defense would be the unthinkable, as it could not win a long term conventional war with NATO. But, at this point, if Trump were to even suggest Russia is not a threat would invite accusations of his being a Putin stooge, or of Putin having stolen the election. Such ‘pacifist’ thinking is not permitted in a commander-in-chief.

    1. “Russia would be mad to start a war with NATO”

      stranger things have happened.

    2. “Engagement is a powerful prophylactic to unnecessary hostilities and war.”

      Great now you’ve turned the Catholics against engagement.

      1. I was quoting the article.

  30. IIRC Ted Kennedy sent his close friend John Tunney to the USSR to swap help in dealing with Reagan in exchange for the USSR helping the Democrats in the 1984 run for POTUS. What I do not recall is the media or Democrats being particularly upset about that.

    1. Also, Kissinger met with Soviet representatives on behalf of Nixon to reassure them that he wasn’t as hawkish as his campaign made him out to be, that he was just trying to appear strong to win but actually wanted a detente.

      Not actual interference in the election, perhaps a bit underhanded, but I guess it may have been better than letting the Cold War heat up over disingenuous campaign slogans.

  31. If only the CDC had some plan to deal with the dementia that is sweeping the District.
    Well, they didn’t call it a Fever Swamp for no reason.

  32. I don’t think anyone thinks there is necessarily anything wrong with talking to Russians although the pattern of the Trump administration’s Russia contacts is way over what one would expect. The problem is that Sessions lied to Congress in an apparent attempt to cover up his conversations with Russians.

    1. He answered the question asked honestly. He did not discuss the campaign at all by anybody’s argument.

      Obama promised increased flexibility and sold Russia about 20% of our uranium. Trump should declassify EVERYTHING Obama did. Every letter, every bill, every word written. Declassify and publicize all of it.

  33. Seems dumb to demand Trump use “soft power” and then claim that talking to other countries is, somehow, illegal and borderline treasonous. Sure, let’s increase spending on diplomacy while trying to criminalize diplomacy.

  34. I’m not one of the people who thinks he should resign over this — BUT — the fact that he met with someone suspected of being a spy recruiter and covered it up is what’s bothering people. Personally I’m more interested in the content of his (and Flynn’s) conversations and why the white house seems so nervous about them. If they’re just talking about their kids’ little league baseball teams, I’d be ready to move on, but if they’re revealing the Russians have some kind of hold over them, that’s a bit of a problem.

  35. “There’s nothing wrong with talking to Russians.”

    I second that motion and ask “why the hush-hush?

  36. Title: “There’s Nothing Wrong With Talking to Russians.” Obviously it depends upon what’s said. An American says “How much will Russia give me for Trump’s football? A Russian says 3 million in Krugerrand’s, a new identity and a house in Greece. In this case there is definitely something wrong with “talking to the Russians.”

  37. Bentley . true that Ashley `s blurb is good… last week I got Lotus Esprit sincere getting a check for $5815 this-last/five weeks and-even more than, ten/k lass-month . without a doubt it is the easiest work I’ve ever done . I began this seven months/ago and almost immediately started earning minimum $77… per-hour . more tips here.
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  38. I can see what your saying… Raymond `s article is surprising, last week I bought a top of the range Acura from making $4608 this-past/month and-a little over, $10,000 this past month . with-out any question its the easiest work I’ve ever had . I began this five months/ago and almost straight away startad bringin in minimum $82 per-hr

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