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A Furious Al Franken Demands That Jeff Sessions Return To The Senate And Explain His Statements On Russia

Donald Trump’s unfounded accusations of wiretapping against Obama provided a marvelous distraction from Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal after his undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak came to light. Even Senator Al Franken was merrily focused on Trump’s latest outburst, but that fun has come to an end with Franken coming back full circle on how Sessions lied during his confirmation hearing. It’s often frightening to see a funnyman grow furious, and Franken fits the bill right now. This went down during a set of clips from would-be Deputy Attorney General nominee Rod Rosenstein’s Tuesday confirmation hearing.

Sessions, who even used reelection dollars to fund his visits with the Russian ambassador, allegedly lied to oath while answering Franken’s questions, and the Minnesota senator is seriously angry. Not only did Sessions sound darn-tootin’ happy while recusing himself, but he also sent a Monday letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that insisted he was “correct” in his confirmation hearing answers and “did not mention communications [he] had had with the Russian ambassador over the years because the question did not ask about them.” And in the above video, Franken lashed out:

“He says, ‘I did not mention communications I had with the Russian ambassador over the years because the question did not ask about them.’ I asked him what he would do as attorney general if it was true that members of the campaign had met with the Russians. So he says, ‘I did not mention communications I had with the Russian ambassador over the years because the question did not ask about them.’

“He answered a question I didn’t ask! And for him to put this in his letter as a response is insulting, and he should come back and explain himself … I’ve bent over backward not to say that he lied. He needs to come back. I’ve bent over backward. I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt, but he has to come back.”

For reference’s sake, here’s the relevant transcript portion of Franken asking Sessions about Trump-Russian ties during his confirmation hearing:

Franken: “Now, again, I’m telling you this as it’s coming out, so you know. But if it’s true, it’s obviously extremely serious and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”

Sessions: “Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”

In this continuation clip, Charles Ernest “Chuck” Grassley gets confrontational with Franken over whether he posed a “gotcha” question to Sessions over Russian ties in the Trump administration. Franken throws the question right back in Grassley’s face.

Meanwhile, Democrats have formally called for an independent prosecutor into Trump-Russian ties following Sessions’ recusal, which is probably why Trump’s so tantrumy lately. There’s a good chance that the Dems will get their wish, though it may not matter where Teflon Trump is concerned.

(Via MSNBC & Polifact)

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