Politics Jeff Sessions just threw a wet blanket on President Trump's Russia dossier conspiracy theory

22:08  14 november  2017
22:08  14 november  2017 Source:   MSN

Sessions jokes in speech to conservative group: 'Anybody been to Russia?'

  Sessions jokes in speech to conservative group: 'Anybody been to Russia?' Attorney General Jeff Sessions joked about connections to Russia before speaking at the Federalist Society convention."Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room?" Sessions asked. "Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room?" Sessions asked. "Before I get started here.

Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Sessions suggests the conspiracy theories about the dossier are overwrought. — Nick Short (@PoliticalShort) November 14, 2017. President Trump is unhappy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation — which led to

Analysis Jeff Sessions just threw a wet blanket on President Trump ’ s Russia dossier conspiracy theory . Opinion Jeff Sessions just offered the Trump team’s latest spin on Russia . Opinion Has Jeff Sessions got the world’s worst memory, or what?

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President Trump is unhappy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation -- which led to special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump has also criticized the Justice Department's handling of his travel ban, and he's clearly been unhappy with Sessions's lack of zeal in investigating Democrats.

And now Sessions has done something Trump surely won't like: Shooting down a conservative conspiracy theory at which Trump himself has hinted.

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During an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, an animated Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) pressed Sessions on what Jordan felt was the need to appoint a second special counsel to look into Democrats' role in that anti-Trump dossier. And Sessions rebuffed him.

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"We know one fact: We know the Clinton campaign and the [Democratic] National Committee paid for -- through the law firm, paid for the dossier. We know that happened," Jordan began. "And it sure looks like the FBI was paying the author of that document. And it sure looks like a major political party was working with the federal government to then turn an opposition research document that quoted some National Enquirer story into an intelligence document, take that to the FISA court so that they could then get a warrant to spy on Americans associated with President Trump's campaign. That's what it looks like."

Sessions's retort: "I would say 'looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 14, 2017 in Washington during an oversight hearing on the Department of Justice. Jeff Sessions faces House questions on Russian election meddling

Photo gallery by USA Today

The exchange came the morning after The Post reported that a new Justice Department letter showed Sessions was entertaining the idea of that new special counsel. That letter came in response to members like Jordan calling for one, and it wasn't clear how close Sessions was to actually appointing one. His comments Tuesday suggest he's not terribly close.

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But the call isn't just coming from House Republicans; it has also come from Trump. Two weeks ago, Trump called on his own Justice Department to investigate Clinton. Trump added that the "saddest thing" was that he couldn't order the DOJ to do such things.

“Hopefully they are doing something and at some point, maybe we are going to all have it out,” Trump said.

Trump has also tweeted conspiratorial ideas about the dossier and the monitoring of his campaign, including accusing the Obama administration of wiretapping Trump Tower before his victory last November.

In recent weeks, Trump has suggested the FBI paid for the dossier and worked with Democrats on it. (The FBI did reach a deal with the dossier's author Christopher Steele, The Post has reported, but scrapped it before making payments when Steele's name became public.)

Jeff Sessions et al. sitting at a table: Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Alex Brandon/AP) © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Trump has also urged investigations of Clinton for both the dossier and the alleged rigging of the 2016 Democratic primary.

Trump hasn't connected the dots between the dossier and the monitoring of his campaign as much as Jordan did in his question, but it's pretty evident that Trump shares many of the concerns and the general idea behind Jordan's theory. And in response, Sessions basically suggested the whole idea was conspiratorial and highly speculative.

In some ways, this is what Sessions signed up for. He's got to balance the conspiracy theory-loving and loyalty-demanding impulses of his boss with what the law  calls for and allows. He's also got to maintain the independence of the Justice Department when it looks like Trump is leaning on him to take specific actions.

And as the scene Tuesday morning showed, that can lead to some decisions and comments the boss probably won't be thrilled with.

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Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/politics/-99776-jeff-sessions-just-threw-a-wet-blanket-on-president-trumps-russia-dossier-conspiracy-theory/

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