National Law Journal: “Charles Cooper, the well-known Republican lawyer, wasn’t simply in attendance at U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ congressional hearing one week ago to support his friend. Cooper is Sessions’ personal lawyer.”
New York Times: “Inside the White House, those close to the president say he has continued to fume about the actions of Justice Department officials, his anger focused mostly on Mr. Rosenstein for appointing Mr. Mueller and on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime political ally whose decision to recuse himself from the Russia case in March enraged Mr. Trump…”
“While he has left open the possibility of dismissing Mr. Mueller and began considering it shortly after the special counsel was appointed last month, the president’s anger has been largely trained on Mr. Sessions and Mr. Rosenstein, whom he views less as executors of law than as salaried staff.”
Associated Press: “Trump advisers and confidants describe the president as increasingly angry over the investigation, yelling at television sets in the White House carrying coverage and insisting he is the target of a conspiracy to discredit — and potentially end — his presidency.”
“An American lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft an important foreign policy speech for Donald Trump has confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign, apparently contradicting the attorney general’s sworn testimony given this week,” The Guardian reports.
“Sessions testified under oath on Tuesday that he did not believe he had any contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests over the course of Trump’s campaign. But Richard Burt, a former ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, who has represented Russian interests in Washington, told the Guardian that he could confirm previous media reports that stated he had contacts with Sessions at the time.”
Mike Allen: “Dems smell blood, but it’s not necessarily Jeff Sessions’. The attorney general held his own at his high-stakes Senate hearing, at one point raising his voice to declare he was ‘not stonewalling,’ and resented the ‘secret innuendo being leaked out there about me.'”
“But Democrats tell me that with his dodges, artful and otherwise… Sessions left a host of openings — about himself and President Trump — that congressional investigators will pursue. Bob Mueller’s prosecutors can be expected to do the same.”
Said ex-Justice department spokesman Matt Miller: “Sessions can probably get out of ever giving the answer to a Republican Congress, but my guess is his performance earned him a ticket to a grand jury.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions forcefully denied meeting with any Russian officials in 2016 to discuss the presidential campaign, calling allegations that he had undisclosed meetings with them an “appalling and detestable lie,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“He also specifically denied holding any private meetings with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. at the Mayflower Hotel, a Washington establishment that has been the subject of speculation in recent days.”
Rick Klein: “For a guy who’s recused himself from the hot story, he sure does pop up a lot. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is an interesting man for the Senate Intelligence Committee to speak with today for a range of reasons that stretch back through the Trump candidacy and presidency. His appearance is being met with a tinge of trepidation, and a whole lot of anticipation, inside a White House where loyalty pledges work to buck up the president’s mood, though not necessarily his legal standing. Part of what makes Sessions intriguing is that he is, by accounts public and private, loyal to President Trump, loyal enough to have offered to resign weeks before he offered to testify.”
“Trump may not be happy with him these days but he’s stuck with him. Now he’ll be stuck with his version of events; he already has to contend with contradictions from his fired FBI director, and can’t afford a two-against-one he-said-he-said. Sessions serves a president whose relationship with facts is famously casual. But when Sessions talks about his conversations with James Comey, and doesn’t talk about his conversations with Trump, the attorney general of the United States knows the consequences of perjury, and surely wants to be on the side of truth.”
The Hill: Five things to watch in Sessions hearing.
Just Security: “Following James Comey’s hearing on Capitol Hill, the Department of Justice issued a statement which flatly contradicts something that Comey said in his testimony. It appears that Comey and Jeff Sessions have directly opposing positions on how the Attorney General responded when Comey says he implored Sessions to prevent the president from directly communicating with him as FBI director. It is increasingly common these days for the administration to include a falsehood in an official statement. Repeating that falsehood under oath before Congress is an entirely different matter. It’s a federal crime. And these proceedings have a special counsel looking over them.”
“What to watch for next: On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee. If he repeats a claim that is contained in the Department of Justice’s ‘Statement on Testimony of Former FBI Director James Comey,’ it is very likely that Sessions will commit perjury or a felony false statement or misrepresentation (which does not require being under oath).”
Former FBI Director James Comey told senators in a closed hearing this afternoon that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have had a third interaction with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, CNN reports.
Aides to President Trump are urging him not to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions despite rifts between the two men, Reuters reports.
“Political and legal advisers inside the White House have told Trump over the past month that firing Sessions would create another political fire storm and make it more difficult to fill key jobs inside his administration, the sources said on the condition of anonymity.”
Said one: “That’s the advice he’s been given. But he might not listen to that advice.”
Dan Balz: “Sessions, of course, was one of Trump’s earliest and most important endorsers and a staunch loyalist throughout the campaign. If one as loyal as Sessions receives no loyalty in return, what will others in the administration think?”
As the White House braces for former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday, sources tell ABC News the relationship between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has become so tense that Sessions at one point recently even suggested he could resign.
“Trump’s anger over the recusal has not diminished with time. Two sources close to the president say he lashed out repeatedly at the attorney general in private meetings, blaming the recusal for the expansion of the Russian investigation, now overseen by Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to say whether President Donald Trump has confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CNN reports.
Said Spicer: “I have not had a discussion with him about that.”
“The press secretary’s striking refusal to reaffirm the President’s confidence in his attorney general came as reports surfaced about the President’s lingering frustrations with his attorney general’s recusal and a day after Trump took to Twitter to critique his own Justice Department, which is led by Sessions.”
“Few Republicans were quicker to embrace President Trump’s campaign last year than Jeff Sessions, and his reward was one of the most prestigious jobs in America. But more than four months into his presidency, Mr. Trump has grown sour on Mr. Sessions, now his attorney general, blaming him for various troubles that have plagued the White House,” the New York Times reports.
“In private, the president’s exasperation has been even sharper. He has intermittently fumed for months over Mr. Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election, according to people close to Mr. Trump who insisted on anonymity to describe internal conversations. In Mr. Trump’s view, they said, it was that recusal that eventually led to the appointment of a special counsel who took over the investigation.”
Playbook: “Imagine if you’re Sessions and gave up a safe Senate seat you held for 20 years — and could’ve held for 20 more — only to work for a president who became frustrated with you after five months on the job.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) asked then-FBI Director James Comey to investigate Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “amid concerns that he may have had an additional meeting with the Russian ambassador the United States, Sergey Kislyak,” CNN reports.
Said the letter: “We are concerned about Attorney General Sessions’ lack of candor to the committee and his failure thus far to accept responsibility for testimony that could be construed as perjury.”
“Congressional investigators are examining whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions had an additional private meeting with Russia’s ambassador during the presidential campaign,” CNN reports.
“Investigators on the Hill are requesting additional information, including schedules from Sessions… They are focusing on whether such a meeting took place April 27, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where then-candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address. Prior to the speech, then-Sen. Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak attended a small VIP reception with organizers, diplomats and others.”