Trump says recalls little about meeting where aide mentioned Russian Federation

George Papadopoulos.   LinkedIn

Court documents unsealed this week have renewed interest in whether Attorney General Jeff Session misled Congress when he testified recently that neither he nor anyone else was in contact with Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential campaign, CBS News' Jeff Pegues reports. It took place a long time ago.

According to court documents filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Papadopoulos, a minor Trump campaign adviser said at the meeting of foreign policy advisers in March 2016 "that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin". Revelations that the attorney general was previously in a meeting with former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos and was told about Page's trips to Russian Federation have been raised by lawmakers as a subject of further inquiry.

But Pegues reports the court documents unsealed this week claim George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign aide who pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with foreign nationals, offered to set up a meeting with then-candidate Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. "There were questions that elicited exactly the kind of information that the Papadopoulos plea agreement made".

Sessions has come under scrutiny over the meeting because some Democrats have suggested that he lied during two separate Senate hearings about what he knew about campaign contacts with Russians.

In previous interviews, Page had denied meeting with any Russian government officials during the July 2016 trip, which included visiting Moscow's New Economic School, saying he met with "mostly scholars".

The president spoke before leaving for a trip to Asia, where his domestic woes are expected to dog him.

"He had no knowledge of any conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign with any Russian or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States", the source said.

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"Sen. Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities", Sessions said.

Gordon said that he did not fault Sessions for not recalling things that Papadopoulos said in private settings, noting that thousands of people approached the campaign, "including many, many true volunteers". And people were asking him about this meeting back in 2016 where former campaign aide George Papadopoulos was present.

But he downplayed the significance of the meetings, telling the Times he had "a very brief hello to a couple of people". "That's characteristic of authoritarian regimes, not democracies, and it needs to stop".

President Trump is weighing in on the latest Russian Federation revelations.

The development comes days after Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an associate were placed under house arrest on money-laundering charges linked to an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into allegations that the campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing said in a filing on Friday that he would challenge what he called "evidence improperly obtained by search warrant, subpoena or otherwise".

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