Former FBI Director James Comey testified on Thursday
Comey told senators in a closed hearing that Sessions may have had a third interaction with Russia's ambassador to the US
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Thursday that if Attorney General Jeff Sessions did have a third, undisclosed meeting with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, it “could be perjury.”
CNN reported earlier Thursday that fired FBI Director James Comey told senators in a closed hearing that Sessions may have had a third interaction with Russia’s ambassador to the US, according to people familiar with the briefing.
Comey explained that the possibility there could have been another encounter was not something he wanted to discuss in the earlier public hearing, according to a source familiar with the briefing.
“I can’t confirm what may have been provided in a classified setting, but with a third meeting, even without it, what we have is a pattern of contacts with the Russians by (Michael) Flynn, by Sessions, by (Jared) Kushner – secret and then concealed,” the Connecticut Democrat told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront” on Thursday.
It “could be perjury,” he added.
CNN reported that Comey told senators in the closed hearing that Sessions may have had a third interaction with Sergey Kislyak. That information is based in part on Russian-to-Russian intercepts, and Kislyak might have exaggerated the encounter, sources said.
CNN previously reported exclusively that congressional investigators are examining whether Sessions had an additional private meeting with Russia’s ambassador during the presidential campaign, according to Republican and Democratic Hill sources and intelligence officials briefed on the investigation.
The Justice Department reiterated on Thursday no such meeting took place.
Blumenthal said Sessions is “emerging more and more as a key figure” in the Russia investigation.
“Not only because of his problematic contact with Russians,” he said, “but also because he failed to safeguard and protect the FBI as part of the Department of Justice when he learned about the meeting in which the President of the United States in effect had inappropriate conversations with Director Comey.”
CNN’s Manu Raju, Evan Perez and Jim Sciutto contributed to this report.