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(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Minutes after he blamed conflicting testimony on his inability to recall events that took place more than a year ago, Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions did recall making an effort to distance the campaign from contacts with Russia.

He did not recall much about two meetings at which Russia was discussed,  "to the best of my recollection," Session said.

But he offered an explicit memory of brushing back one campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, who had suggested reaching out to Russia.

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Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks Saturday in Vestavia Hills, Ala. (Hal Yeager / Associated Press)
Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks Saturday in Vestavia Hills, Ala. (Hal Yeager / Associated Press)

Amid new allegations that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore molested teenage girls decades ago, Republican leaders intensified their calls Monday for him to quit the race, even threatening to expel Moore if he wins.

The accusations against Moore have thrown the GOP into a crisis, splintering the party and risking defeat in the Dec. 12 special election, for which polls show Democrat Doug Jones now has a narrow lead in the Deep South state.

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During testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 14, 2017, Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions could not disclose whether he was recused from an investigation involving Hillary Clinton.

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that he has not been improperly influenced by President Trump to investigate Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Under questioning by Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, Sessions said "that would be wrong."

The question stemmed from news Monday night that Sessions had asked senior aides to determine if the department should probe an Obama administration decision that allowed Russia to acquire a financial interest in U.S. uranium supplies.

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House Speaker Paul D. Ryan speaks Oct. 26 in Washington.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan speaks Oct. 26 in Washington.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that Alabama Republican Roy Moore “should step aside,” joining top GOP leaders who are trying to push the Senate candidate facing sexual misconduct accusations out of the race.

"These allegations are credible," Ryan said. "He should step aside."

Five women have said Moore, now 70, pursued them when they were teenagers and he was a prosecutor in the district attorney's office in his 30s.

(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.

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Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions testified again before the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 14, 2017.

"Lastly, I would like to address the false charges made about my previous testimony. My answers have never changed. I have always told the truth, and I have answered every question as I understood them and to the best of my recollection, as I will continue to do today.

"I would like to address recent news reports regarding meetings during the campaign attended by George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, among others. Frankly, I had no recollection of this until I saw these news reports. 

"I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said during that meeting. After reading his account, and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter. But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago, and would gladly have reported it.

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, shown during June testimony on Capitol Hill
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, shown during June testimony on Capitol Hill (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Few weeks have gone by this year without President Trump’s least favorite topic, the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, surfacing in some form.

On Tuesday, even as the president flies back from his 12-day Asian trip, the subject will rise again.

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is scheduled to testify at 10 A.M. Eastern to the House Judiciary Committee. He will try to square his past assertions that he knew of no contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians with new claims in court documents and congressional testimony alleging that he did.

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Security guards walk through the hotel in Hangzhou, China, where three UCLA basketball players are staying.
Security guards walk through the hotel in Hangzhou, China, where three UCLA basketball players are staying. (Gaochao Zhang / For The Times)

President Trump said he was hopeful that three UCLA basketball players detained in China will be released and sent home.

"I had a great conversation with [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping]," Trump  told reporters aboard Air Force One Tuesday afternoon, just as his plane was about to take off from Manila, the final leg of his 12-day trip to Asia. "What they did was unfortunate. You know, you're talking about very long prison sentences. They do not play games." 

Xi "was terrific, and they're working on it right now," Trump continued. "And hopefully everything is going to work out."

A fifth woman has come forward to accuse former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct.

A fifth woman has come forward to accuse former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct.

Beverly Young Nelson, 55, said Moore, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate, assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old high school student working as a waitress in Gadsden, Ala.

Speaking at a news conference in New York, Nelson said Moore was then a 30-year-old deputy district attorney in Etowah County and a regular customer at Olde Hickory House restaurant in Gadsden. He often complimented her on her looks and pulled on the ends of her long, red hair, she said.