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U.S. Department of Justice
Senate Foreign Relations Committee and would meet with foreign officials in that capacity.82 1 But Sessions's staff reported, and Sessions himself acknowledged, that meeting requests from ambassadors increased substantially in 2016, as Sessions assumed a prominent role in the Trump Campaign and his name was mentioned for potential cabinet-level positions in a future Trump Administration. 822
On September 8, 2016, Sessions met with Kislyak in his Senate office. 823 Sessions said that he believed he was doing the Campaign a service by meeting with foreign ambassadors, including Kislyak. 824 He was accompanied in the meeting by at least two of his Senate staff: Sandra Luff, his legislative director; and Pete Landrum, who handled military affairs.825 The meeting lasted less than 30 minutes. 826 Sessions voiced concerns about Russia's sale of a missile defense system toIran, Russian planes buzzing U.S. military assets in the Middle East, and Russian aggression in emerging democracies such as Ukraine and Moldova. 827 Kislyak offered explanations on these issues and complained about NA TO land forces in former Soviet-bloc countries that border Russia. 828 Landrum recalled that Kislyak referred to the presidential campaign as "an interesting campaign,"829 and Sessions also recalled Kislyak saying that the Russian government was receptive to the overtures Trump had laid out during his campaign.830 None of the attendees, though, remembered any discussion of Russian election interference or any request that Sessions convey information from the Russian government to the Trump Campaign. 831
During the meeting, Kislyak invited Sessions to further discuss U.S.-Russia relations with him over a meal at the ambassador's residence. 832 Sessions was non-committal when Kislyak extended the invitation. After the meeting ended, Luff advised Sessions against accepting the one on-one meeting with Kislyak, whom she assessed to be an "old school KGB guy."833 Neither Luff nor Landrum recalled that Sessions followed up on the invitation or made any further effort to dine
could not remember if election was discussed).
about Trump and hoped he would pass along information to Trump. Sessions 1/17118 302, at 23-24.
People mentioned on this page:
|Pete Landrum||Donald Trump||Sandra Luff||Sergey Kislyak||Jeff Sessions|
Organizations mentioned on this page:
|Trump Campaign||Internet Research Agency (IRA)|