Carter Page met with Russian government officials during 2016 trip

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In the plea deal documents released by Mueller on Monday, Papadopoulos recounted a meeting in which he suggested setting up a meeting with then-candidate Trump and some Russians he knew with potentially damaging information about Clinton. "And that he could arrange such a meeting - and that was ultimately shut down within a few minutes by Senator Sessions, in no uncertain terms". The trip was "completely unrelated to my limited volunteer role with the campaign and as I've done dozens of times throughout my life".

In the Senate Judiciary Committee's January confirmation hearings for Sessions, Sen.

Page, who left the Trump campaign not long after the trip, has been questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and has also appeared before a grand jury as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry. Al Franken, D-Minn., asked the attorney general nominee what he would do "if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign".

Papadopoulos - who boasted of his Russian connection in at least one meeting Sessions attended - pleaded guilty to lying about the timing of those contacts, becoming the first person who served on Trump's campaign to admit to committing a crime.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.

In a written questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation, Sessions also told the panel he was not in contact with anyone associated with the Russian government - despite the fact that Sessions met twice with Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the US, during the campaign.

"Was that what you were saying - you don't believe that surrogates from the Trump campaign had communications with the Russians?"

"He seems to have problems telling the truth on this subject", Franken said of Sessions.

Mr Gordon said he could not discuss what Mr Trump said when the Russian meeting was raised because of a non-disclosure agreement, but added that the President certainly did not say "yes" to the idea.

At the time of that article, a spokeswoman for Sessions declined to comment.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on October 18, Sen.

Last month, Sessions told the same committee he was not aware of any Trump surrogates having contacts with Russian officials.

A source told CNN's Manu Raju about the existence of an email Page wrote to a Trump campaign aide following his trip to Moscow in July 2016.

It is a crime to lie under oath to Congress. Sessions says that his answers were truthful because his meetings with Kislyak weren't specifically about the campaign. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, asked Sessions: "Did anybody in the campaign, did you ever overhear a conversation between you and anybody on the campaign who talked about meeting with the Russians?"

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