Nancy Pelosi became the next prominent Democratic politician to be caught red-handed telling an untruth about a meeting with the Russian ambassador.
Earlier, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) made a similar misstatement while calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ resignation.
I've been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years.No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of Foreign Rel Com.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) March 2, 2017
It turns out there was photographic evidence that this was a misstatement.
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) March 2, 2017
Memory error or deliberate lie, under oath or not, it’s more than ironic that the Senator would ask for a colleague’s resignation while arguably making the same mistake.
Another Democratic politician can be added to the list of those who don’t appear to remember meeting with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) herself, former Speaker of the House, has also demanded Sessions resign while failing to recall that she has met with the ambassador.
As reported by Politico:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday that she’s never met with the current Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.
“Not with this Russian ambassador, no,” Pelosi told POLITICO’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer during a Playbook interview, when asked whether she had ever met with the Russian envoy.
The hesitation on Pelosi’s face as she ponders her answer is truly priceless.
There is now photographic evidence, overturned by Politico, no less, that Pelosi told a real whopper. The photo is linked to the Alamy news service, which archived the photo of her meeting with Kislyak, along with former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, in 2010.
President Trump pounced on the photo of Rep. Pelosi:
I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2017
Trump earlier referred to a photo of Senator Chuck Schumer eating a donut with Vladimir Putin:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2017
Senator Schumer has also demanded Sessions’ resignation.
Independent Journal Review’s Benny Johnson rightly pointed out that Republicans shouldn’t want to make it a habit of posting photos of Democrats with Russians:
PSA to Republicans: The tweeting photos of Democrats with Putin thing will not work out well for you. pic.twitter.com/JLXDziW4gr
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 3, 2017
“Leader Pelosi’s answer to the question today was clearly about private, one-on-one meetings, which she has never had with Ambassador Kislyak,” Hammill said. “The Ambassador was incidental to the 2010 meeting between then-Russian President Medvedev and then-Speaker Pelosi. Clearly, one needs to remind Politico that Attorney General Sessions lied under oath about a secret meeting amidst Russia’s hacking of our election, which he also didn’t disclose in a written questionnaire.”
That’s ironic that Pelosi’s spokesperson would characterize Sessions’ meetings as such, because this is a lie: these were not “secret” one-on-one meetings.
Both meetings Sessions had with Kislyak were in the presence of others: One was a public event that gave rise to a handshake and brief exchange, the other was a meeting at his office with two senior U.S. officials present.
Regarding the questionnaire, the specific wording of it was as follows:
Several of the President-Elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?
“No,” Sessions responded. And there is no evidence at all to the contrary. The full transcript of his exchange with Sen. Franken (D-MN) shows it to also be within the context of discussing the election with the Russians.
“I never met with any Russian officials to discuss the issues of the campaign,” Sessions reiterated, in response to perjury accusations made after the testimony. “I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”
The meeting with the Russian ambassador was one of several such meetings that Sessions had with ambassadors, as pointed out by PBS:
The first encounter Sessions had with the Russian ambassador was after an event that the Obama State Department played a role in sponsoring. Incidentally, the Obama White House had met with the Russian ambassador Kislyak on 22 separate occasions, according to visitor logs.
Hans von Spakovsky, writing at Fox News, summed up the speaking event, which was sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. State Department, and other organizations. As reported by The Daily Caller:
The Obama administration helped set up the first meeting Jeff Sessions had with the Russian ambassador in 2016.
Heritage Foundation scholar Hans von Spakovsky wrote at FoxNews.com that the event at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that his employer hosted was attended by Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Spakovsky writes that the event was a conference titled “Global Partners in Diplomacy,” where Sessions was the keynote speaker. It was sponsored by the State Department, the Heritage Foundation and other organizations.
“There is no reason for Attorney General Sessions to resign,” Spakovsky added.