Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) slammed Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE on Friday for joking about whether any Russians were in attendance at one of his speeches in Washington.
"Jeff Sessions still doesn’t get it," Lieu said on CNN's "The Situation Room," calling Sessions' comments inappropriate.
"He is not in trouble because he happened to be in places where there were Russians," Lieu said of the attorney general.
"He is in trouble because he had a nearly hourlong meeting with Ambassador Kislyak – [who] is also a spy – and then he failed to disclose the existence of that meeting under oath to the U.S. Senate."
Sessions joked about connections to Russia before a speech at the conservative Federalist Society convention earlier Friday.
“Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room?” Sessions asked the crowd. “Before I get started here. Any Russians? Anybody been to Russia? Got a cousin in Russia or something?”
Lieu, a vocal critic of President Trump, took to Twitter to voice his criticism of the remarks:
Dear @TheJusticeDept Sessions: Problem is not that you were in the same room with any Russians. It's that you had a 45 min to 1 hour meeting with Russian Spy/Ambassador Kislyak and discussed Trump campaign views on Ukraine. Then you lied under oath about it. Get the difference? https://t.co/r04HzVXPcS— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 17, 2017
Sessions' meetings with Russia's former ambassador to the U.S. during the 2016 campaign drew scrutiny earlier this year after it was revealed that he failed to disclose the contacts.
While Sessions argued that he took the meetings in his role as an Alabama senator and not a surrogate for Trump's campaign, he recused himself from any Justice Department probes involving Russia.
Sessions testified earlier this week before the House Judiciary Committee, denying that he lied under oath about contacts with Russia during the campaign.