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Sessions spoke to Russia twice before 2016 vote: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks at the US Justice Department's 2017 African American History Month Observation on February 28, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

As now-US President Donald Trump was busy campaigning for the 2016 presidential election, Jeff Sessions, his current attorney general, spoke with the Russian envoy to the United States twice, a report says.

Based on a Washington Post report released Wednesday, US Justice Department officials said one of the meetings was a private conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in Sessions' office.

During his confirmation hearing, Sessions was not trying to mislead lawmakers when he said that he had no contact with Russia, said his spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, adding that he was not talking to the Russian envoy as a member of the Armed Services Committee or even a Trump surrogate.

“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 did not have communications with the Russians,” he said during the hearing, when asked what he would do if he hypothetically learned that a member of the campaign had contacts with Moscow.

According to Flores, he did not consider his conversation with Kislyak relevant to the lawmakers’ questions.

“There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer,” she said.

During a Monday briefing in Washington, White House press secretary Sean Spicer directly rejected calls for appointment of a special prosecutor to probe alleged attempts by Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

The intelligence community and committees in the House and Senate are already engaged in an investigation to determine if Russia played a role in the Republican nominee’s victory on December 8, 2016.

A proponent of better ties with Russia and President Vladimir Putin, Trump has faced criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

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