(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Jeff Sessions also didn't disclose having dinner with a lobbyist for Russian interests

A Russian lobbyist says he dined twice with Jeff Sessions — that was never disclosed


Matthew Rozsa
June 16, 2017 12:46PM (UTC)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified under oath that he did not believe he had interacted with lobbyists tied to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, when he served as an adviser to candidate Donald Trump.

One lobbyist tied to Russia is now countering that account.

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Richard Burt, a former American ambassador to Germany who has lobbied for Russian interests, told The Guardian on Thursday that he had attended two dinners where Sessions was present.

"I did attend two dinners with groups of former Republican foreign policy officials and Sen. Sessions," Burt said.

He added that he did not know whether Sessions was familiar with Burt's background when he attended these events.

Burt played a role in crafting one of Trump's first major foreign policy speeches, which critics noted when Sessions was asked by Sen. John McCain whether he had "any contacts with any representative, including any American lobbyist or agent of any Russian company."

Sessions had replied, "I don’t believe so."

In May 2016 Burt had told NPR that the Trump campaign asked him "to provide a draft for that speech, and parts of that draft survived into the final" version.

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In addition to his lobbying background, Burt was also on an advisory board for a private equity fund that has as one of its investors the Russian bank Alfa Bank.

This is the same bank that was at the center of controversy last year when a group of computer scientists came forward to say that there was a secret server at a Trump Organization building irregularly pinging to another email server at Alfa Bank. CNN reported in March that the FBI's counterintelligence team was at that point continuing to investigate the matter.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Jeff Sessions Partner Video Richard Burt Russia

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