Assange, Attorney General Sessions, C-Span, Confirmation hearing, DOJ, Donald Trump, Franken grilling Sessions, hacking, Heritage Foundation, Intelligence agencies, Intelligence Report, Jeff Sessions, leaks, perjury, Putin, Russia, Russian Ambassador, Senator Al Franken, Senator Jeff Sessions, Sergei Kislyak, Sessions Confirmation Hearings Transcript, Transcript, Trump, US DOJ, US presidential campaign, WikiLeaks
If Jeff Sessions really flipped since March 2015 from his anti-Russia stance and became pro-Russia there is no apparent motive, raising the question of if he was threatened by Trump and/or Russia. Or, if he did really forget a meeting made in conjunction with his Senate work. And why was the Russian Ambassador at the Heritage Foundation Event anyway? It is noteworthy that the accusations came out the day after the US Department of Justice sentenced a Russian-American to prison for illegally selling microelectronics to Russia for military purposes. Is this “leak” pay-back for not quashing the case? Sessions may be safer in prison for perjury. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/day-after-us-doj-sent-russian-to-jail-for-export-of-us-microelectronics-to-russian-military-money-laundering-us-attorney-general-sessions-accused-of-meeting-with-russians-by-media/
Information about the accusations is found below the transcript.
Al Franken grilling Jeff Sessions on C-Span during confirmation hearings:
>> THANKS, JENNIFER. WE WILL LET YOU GO. THERE’S SENATOR SESSIONS BACK IN THE HEARING ROOM. >> THANK YOU. SENATOR, LAST FRIDAY, THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, WE COVERED THIS A LITTLE, REPRESENTING 16 AGENCIES, RELEASED A DECLASSIFIED INTELLIGENCE REPORT STATING QUOTE, WE ASSESS RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN ORDERED AN INFLUENCE CAMPAIGN IN 2016 AIMED AT THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, UNQUOTE. YET DESPITE THE CONSENSUS AMONG OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES, PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP HAS REMAINED PERSISTENTLY SKEPTICAL. DURING THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE HE WONDERED ALOUD WHETHER THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY COULD BE CHINA OR QUOTE, SOMEBODY SITTING ON THEIR BED THAT WEIGHS 400 POUNDS. LAST MONTH, HE CALLED REPORTS OF RUSSIAN HACKING QUOTE, RIDICULOUS, AND QUOTE, ANOTHER EXCUSE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC LOSS. HE SAID QUOTE, IT COULD BE SOMEBODY SITTING IN A BED SOME PLACE AGAIN. I MEAN, THEY HAVE NO IDEA. AND EVEN AFTER THE RELEASE OF THE DECLASSIFIED REPORT, THE PRESIDENT HAS REALLY YET TO ACKNOWLEDGE RUSSIA’S ROLE IN THE HACKING. YOU SAID EARLIER THAT YOU ACCEPT THE FBI’S CONCLUSION. TO MY MIND, IT’S ABSOLUTELY EXTRAORDINARY TO SEE A PRESIDENT-ELECT SO PUBLICLY REFUTING AND WITHOUT EVIDENCE AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, THE ASSESSMENT OF OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES. WHY DO YOU THINK PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP HAS BEEN SO UNWILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE RUSSIAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE HACKING?
>> I DID MEAN TO INDICATE I RESPECT THE FBI AND I RESPECT THE FACT THAT IF THEY GIVE A CONCLUSION, THEY BELIEVE IT’S ACCURATE, BUT I’M NOT ABLE TO COMMENT ON THE PRESIDENT-ELECT’S COMMENTS ABOUT IT.
>> OKAY. CNN HAS JUST PUBLISHED A STORY AND I’M TELLING YOU THIS ABOUT A NEWS STORY THAT’S JUST BEEN PUBLISHED, I’M NOT EXPECTING YOU TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT IT’S TRUE OR NOT, BUT CNN JUST PUBLISHED A STORY ALLEGING THAT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY PROVIDED DOCUMENTS TO THE PRESIDENT-ELECT LAST WEEK, THAT INCLUDED INFORMATION THAT QUOTE, RUSSIAN OPERATIVES CLAIMED TO HAVE COMPROMISING PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION ABOUT MR. TRUMP. THESE DOCUMENTS ALSO ALLEGEDLY SAY QUOTE, THERE WAS A CONTINUING EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION DURING THE CAMPAIGN BETWEEN TRUMP’S SURROGATES AND INTERMEDIARIES FOR THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. AGAIN, I’M TELLING YOU THIS AS IT’S COMING OUT, SO YOU KNOW. BUT IF IT’S TRUE, IT’S OBVIOUSLY EXTREMELY SERIOUS AND IF THERE IS ANY EVIDENCE THAT ANYONE AFFILIATED WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATED WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT IN THE COURSE OF THIS CAMPAIGN, WHAT WILL YOU DO?
>> SENATOR FRANKEN, I’M NOT AWARE OF ANY OF THOSE ACTIVITIES. I HAVE BEEN CALLED A SURROGATE AT A TIME OR TWO IN THAT CAMPAIGN AND I DID NOT HAVE COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE RUSSIANS, AND I’M UNABLE TO COMMENT ON IT.
>> VERY WELL. WITHOUT DIVULGING SENSITIVE INFORMATION, DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS OR KNOW WHAT COMPROMISING PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION THE RUSSIANS CLAIM TO HAVE?
>> SENATOR FRANKEN, ALLEGATIONS GET MADE ABOUT CANDIDATES ALL THE TIME AND THEY HAVE BEEN MADE ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP, A LOT SOMETIMES. MOST OF THEM, VIRTUALLY ALL OF THEM HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE EXAGGERATED AND UNTRUE. I WOULD JUST SAY TO YOU THAT I HAVE NO INFORMATION ABOUT THIS MATTER. I HAVE NOT BEEN IN ON THE CLASSIFIED BRIEFINGS AND I’M NOT A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, AND I’M JUST NOT ABLE TO GIVE YOU ANY COMMENT ON IT AT THIS TIME.
>> TOTALLY FAIR. LAST WEEK, JULIAN ASSANGE, THE FOUNDER OF WIKILEAKS, CLAIMED THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WAS NOT THE SOURCE OF THE HACKED E-MAILS WIKILEAKS PUBLISHED DURING THE CAMPAIGN. NOW ASSANGE DID NOT IDENTIFY HIS SOURCE, NOR DID HE SAY WHETHER HIS SOURCE WORKED WITH OR RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM THE RUSSIANS BUT AGAIN, AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES CONCLUDED THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT DIRECTED THE HACKING OPERATION. NONETHELESS, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THAT INTERVIEW, PRESIDENT-ELECT TWEETED QUOTE, JULIAN ASSANGE SAID A 14-YEAR-OLD COULD HAVE HACKED PODESTA, WHY WAS DNC SO CARELESS. ALSO SAID RUSSIANS DID NOT GIVE HIM THE INFO EXCLAMATION POINT. SENATOR SESSIONS, DOES IT CONCERN YOU THAT OUR FUTURE COMMANDER IN CHIEF IS SO MUCH MORE WILLING TO ACCEPT WHAT JULIAN ASSANGE SAYS INSTEAD OF THE CONCLUSIONS OF OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES AND WHY DO YOU THINK’ PRESIDENT TRUMP FINDS ASSANGE TRUSTWORTHY?
>> SENATOR FRANKEN, I’M NOT ABLE TO ANSWER THAT. I HAVE NOT TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT-ELECT ABOUT ANY OF THESE ISSUES AND IT IS OFTEN INACCURATE WHAT GETS PRINTED IN THE PAPERS
>> BACK IN 2010, BACK WHEN WIKILEAKS WAS PUBLISHING STOLEN AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC CABLES AND MILITARY SECRETS, YOU VOICED CONCERN ABOUT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S RESPONSE. YOU SAID THAT WIKILEAKS PUBLISHING SENSITIVE DOCUMENTS SHOULD BE QUOTE, PURSUED WITH THE GREATEST INTENSITY, YOU SAID QUOTE, THE PRESIDENT FROM ON DOWN SHOULD BE CRYSTAL CLEAR ON THIS, AND I HAVEN’T SEEN THAT, I MEAN, COMES OUT OF THE LEFT, THE ANTI-WAR LEFT. THEY HAVE ALWAYS GLORIFIED PEOPLE WHO LEAK SENSITIVE DOCUMENTS. NOW HE’S THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF SO HE’S GOT A CHALLENGE. PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP BY CONTRAST SAID QUOTE, WIKILEAKS, I LOVE WIKILEAKS. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT BY HOLDING UP JULIAN ASSANGE, WHO TRAFFICS IN LEAKED AND STOLEN DOCUMENTS, OFTEN CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS AS A LEGITIMATE SOURCE OF INFORMATION THAT PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP IS GLORIFYING PEOPLE WHO LEAK SENSITIVE DOCUMENTS?
>> WELL, I WOULD SAY THIS. THAT IF ASSANGE PARTICIPATED IN VIOLATING THE AMERICAN LAW, THEN HE IS A PERSON SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION AND CONDEMNATION
>> WELL, WE KNOW THAT IN REGARD TO WHAT HE DID IN 2010 AND YET THE PRESIDENT-ELECT SAID WIKILEAKS, I LOVE WIKILEAKS. DOESN’T IT SEEM LIKE PERHAPS IF YOU WEREN’T SITTING BEFORE US TODAY AS AN ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE AND IF PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS PUBLICLY EMBRACING JULIAN ASSANGE THAT PERHAPS YOU MIGHT TAKE A MORE CRITICAL VIEW?
>> AS A MEMBER OF THE SENATE, AS YOU AND I REMAIN FOR HOPEFULLY NOT TOO MUCH LONGER, DEPENDS ON YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES, BUT I FEEL IT’S A LOT EASIER TO BE VIGOROUS AND OUTSPOKEN. IF YOU BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT THE AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY OF SERVING AS AN ATTORNEY GENERAL WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF HAVING TO HANDLE CERTAIN CASES, YOU NEED TO BE MORE CAUTIOUS ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY. SO I THINK IT’S JUST NOT APPROPRIATE FOR ME TO BE THE PERSON FOR YOU TO SEEK POLITICAL RESPONSES FROM
>> SENATOR — >> I’M OUT OF TIME. I WILL TRY TO STICK AROUND FOR ONE MORE QUICK ROUND.
As late as March of 2015 Senator Jeff Sessions’ advocated for the US and Europe to unify against Russia. However, by July 2016 he “praised Trump’s plan to build better relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” according to the Washington Post. See “Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with Russian envoy during 2016 presidential campaign, officials say“, March 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html
If Sessions flipped and became pro-Russia there is no apparent motive for this, raising the question of if he was threatened by Trump and/or Russia.
Sessions spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, as cited in Bloomberg, said that then US Senator Jeff Sessions had more than 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors last year in the context of being a Senator and member of the Armed Services Committee. These included British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian, German and Russian ambassadors. “Sessions Met Twice With Russian Envoy During Trump Campaign” by Chris Strohm and Justin Sink, March 2, 2017, See: https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-02/sessions-spoke-with-russian-envoy-during-trump-s-2016-campaign
Isn’t Syria one reason that Sessions might have needed to meet with Russia? Did he forget? Why lie?
The US also continues to important Russian oil, gas and uranium: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/sanctions-against-russia-what-sanctions-the-us-and-eu-still-import-russian-oil-gas-and-uranium-for-nuclear-power/
Why was the Russian Ambassador at the Heritage Foundation Event?
On March 1st, news sources reported that now Attorney General Sessions had “spoken twice with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. The first communication took place at a Heritage Foundation event attended by approximately 50 foreign ambassadors, among them Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak whom he spoke with. The next in September, again with with Ambassador Kislyak, in Sessions office during the alleged Russian cyber hacking campaign. Unnamed sources claim US Intelligence services consider Kislyak to be Russia’s top spy and spy-recruiter in Washington.” Wikipedia article on Jeff Sessions referring to the Washington Post article: Entous, Adam; Nakashima, Ellen; Miller, Greg. “Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last year, encounters he later did not disclose“. Washington Post. Retrieved 2 March 2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Sessions