On Wednesday, it was reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions held meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 campaign season, despite saying the opposite in his confirmation hearing. The news must’ve been quite a shock to the key “living under a rock” demographic.
Stories about possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government are now as common as sour cream in borscht. To run down some of the most prominent examples:
• In August, campaign manager Paul Manafort got the boot after reports came out detailing his long history of business dealings in Russia and Ukraine.
• More recently, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned after lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his exchanges with — you’ll never guess — Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
• In the aftermath of the Sessions revelation, a meeting between Kislyak and Trump policy advisors during the GOP convention is also under scrutiny.
• Even Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen is the subject of an FBI examination for his numerous ties to Ukrainian business interests.
And of course, there’s Trump’s longstanding admiration for Russian leader Vladimir Putin himself.
So even if the conversations between Sessions and Kislyak were perfectly innocent, the fact that they took place at all is disconcerting — as is the very clear possibility that Sessions lied about them. (It’s still unclear whether his testimony could count as perjury.)
All of the potential connections to the Kremlin have yet to be teased out, but it’s probably fair to say that over the next few months, nobody should be surprised if more Trump associates find themselves cast out to Siberia — so to speak.