U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions showed Friday that all the speculation sparked by investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia hasn’t affected his sense of humor.
“Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room?,” Sessions joked, as he began a speech at the Federalist Society’s 2017 National Lawyers Convention in Washington.
“Any Russians?” he continued, drawing laughs from the audience. “Umm … anybody been to Russia? Got a cousin in Russia or something?”
“Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room? Any Russians? Umm … anybody been to Russia? Got a cousin in Russia or something?”
The jokes, including his reference to Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak, came just days after Sessions’ most recent testimony on Capitol Hill in connection with the Russia probe. In a long hearing Tuesday before with the House Judiciary Committee, panel members grilled Sessions on any past contact with the Russian government and poked around for potential inconsistencies from his earlier testimony.
Sessions’ prior testimony came into question after the FBI revealed that former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the agency. And another former adviser, Carter Page, recently testified that Sessions, 70, knew about a trip Page took to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Sessions defended his previous testimony, in which he said he’d had no communications with the Russians during the campaign.
“My response was according to the way I heard the question,” Sessions said. “I certainly didn’t mean I had never met a Russian in the history of my life.”