National Security

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

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos said Attorney General Jeff Sessions was "enthusiastic" about the possibility of arranging a meeting between President Trump 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.

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 Clinton 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.

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