Sessions: Trump Never Showed Interest in Russian Hacking

I have no idea whether Jeff Sessions had any inappropriate contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. My gut tells me there’s probably nothing much here, but then again, my gut has been more like a Magic 8-Ball lately than a crystal ball. So who knows?

That said, I agree with David Corn that the most telling bit of Sessions’ testimony today was this:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s covert operation to subvert the 2016 election: “Prior to [the president being inaugurated]—in the campaign up until through the transition—was there ever any meetings that [Trump] showed any concern or consideration or just inquisitive of what the Russians were doing and if they really had done it?”

Sessions replied, “I don’t recall any such conversation. I’m not sure I understood your question. Maybe I better listen again.”

….Manchin continued: “You were part of the national security team, so if [Trump] would’ve heard something about Russia with their capabilities or concern about what they could do to our election process. Was there ever any conversations concerning that whatsoever?”

Sessions answered, “I don’t recall it.”

Sessions never heard Trump show any interest in Russian hacking before the inauguration. James Comey never heard Trump show any interest in Russian hacking after the inauguration. If Donald Trump ever showed the slightest interest in a hostile state actor trying to subvert an American election, not a single person seems to remember it.

I dunno. It sure seems like the kind of thing the president of the United States ought to be upset about. I wonder why Trump isn’t?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.