Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified on Tuesday that he doesn't recall either of the newly reported discussions he had with two Trump campaign advisers relating to connections with Russia during the 2016 election cycle.
During his opening statement addressing the House Judiciary Oversight hearing, Sessions addressed the revelations that in separate meetings during the campaign both former Trump aides George Papadopolous and Carter Page informed Sessions about potential contacts with Kremlin-linked personnel.
“Frankly, I had no recollection of this meeting until I saw these news reports,” Sessions said. In regards to the 2016 meeting where Papadopolous reportedly mentioned meeting with Russians, Sessions said he “now recalls” the meeting but has “no clear recollection of the details of what he said.”
The attorney general added that he would have “gladly [...] reported it had I remembered it.”
Papadopoulos reportedly pitched campaign officials in a meeting last year, with Sessions in attendance, using his Russian connections to set up a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-candidate Donald Trump.
As far as former Trump adviser Carter Page's reportedly informing Sessions about Russian contacts, the former Alabama senator said he also doesn't remember any “passing conversation he may have had” with him, but will not “challenge his recollection.”
During Sessions's previous testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee he called any allegations that he colluded with Russian a “detestable lie.”
Sessions, on Tuesday, appeared to blame his dodgy memory related to both Papadopoulos and Page informing him of Russian connections on the hectic nature of working on a presidential campaign, particularly one as chaotic as the Trump campaign. “It was a brilliant campaign, I think, in many ways,” he said.
“But it was a form of chaos every day from day one.”
Sessions closed out his opening remarks with a fiery denial that he ever laid while under oath to Senate Intelligence Committee regrading knowledge of the Trump campaign's contacts with Russians:
"I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied. That is a lie. Let me be clear, I have at all times conducted myself honorably and in a manner consistent with the high standards and responsibilities of the office of attorney general which I revere.
I spent 15 years in that department. I love that department. I honor that department. And will do my dead level best to be worthy of your attorney general. Right as I said before, my story has never changed.
I've always told the truth. And I've answered every question to the best of my recollection and I will continue to do so today."
Watch the attorney general's opening remarks below, via CNN.