Papadopoulos: Sessions was 'enthusiastic' about possible Trump-Putin meeting

Papadopoulos: Sessions was 'enthusiastic' about possible Trump-Putin meeting
© Greg Nash

Former Trump campaign adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosMueller probe figures use fame to pay bills Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry MORE said Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports McCabe: Trump's 'relentless attack' on FBI prompted memoir Trump: 'Disgraced' McCabe, Rosenstein look like they were planning 'very illegal act' MORE was "enthusiastic" about the possibility of arranging a meeting between President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 election.

In an interview with CNN set to air later Friday, Papadopoulos tells host Jake Tapper that Sessions reacted positively to his suggestion of a meeting between Trump and the Russian leader when he first broached the subject.

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Sessions "was actually enthusiastic about a meeting between the candidate and President Putin," Papadopoulos says in the interview, adding that Trump "gave me a sort of a nod" but "wasn't committed either way" to the idea.

The statement conflicts directly with statements made by Sessions and the Trump administration, who have maintained that Sessions "pushed back" against Papadopoulos's suggestion of a meeting. Sessions testified in November 2017 that he had rejected the former campaign adviser's proposal.

 "To the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to [Papadopoulos] 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,” Sessions said.

Papadopoulos was sentenced Friday to two weeks in prison and one year supervised release for lying to investigators about his contacts with Russia-linked individuals during the 2016 election.

In the same interview, Papadopoulos says he "can't guarantee" he did not discuss the potential of compromising information on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRoger Stone shares, quickly deletes Instagram photo of federal judge on his case Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Why the national emergency? A second term may be Trump’s only shield from an indictment MORE being held by the Russian government with the Trump campaign during the election.

"I might have, but I have no recollection of doing so," he says in the interview. "I can't guarantee. All I can say is, my memory is telling me that I never shared it with anyone on the campaign."

"As far as I remember, I absolutely did not share this information with anyone on the campaign," he added.