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Sessions denies that he ever gave false statements on Russia: 'That is a lie'

 (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that he had "no clear recollection" of being alerted by two former campaign aides to contacts with Russians during the 2016 presidential election. 

Sessions told members of the House Judiciary Committee that after reading news reports, he now recalls a March 2016 meeting that was attended by Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos. He made a similar statement regarding the presence of another advisor, Carter Page, at a Capitol Hill Club meeting.

Both men have said that they discussed contacts with Russians with Sessions or in his presence. Their statements contradicted previous testimony by Sessions that no such communications took place.

Sessions said that after reading the account of Papadopoulos, who has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, he remembered telling the advisor that he was not authorized to represent the campaign.

"But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago," he said.

Similarly, he said he had no recollection of meeting Page.

"In all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer all of your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory," he said, growing visibly angry.

"But I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied under oath. That is a lie." 

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