Attorney General Jeff Sessions made light of his alleged ties to Russia at the conservative Federalist Society’s National Lawyers convention.
“Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room?” the Hill reports Sessions asked the crowd, prompting enthusiastic cheers and applause. “Before I get started here. Any Russians? Anybody been to Russia? Got a cousin in Russia or something?” The jokes were not part of Sessions’ prepared remarks, according to the Hill.
Sessions has been a key character in the ongoing investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials — an investigation he recused himself from under pressure earlier this year. Sessions has repeatedly said he had no improper contact with Russian officials, although news reports have shown that he met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at least twice in 2016.
As recently as Tuesday, Democrats questioned Sessions about whether he lied about communications between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
The Federalist Society, where Sessions spoke on Friday, is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in “reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law,” according to the organization’s website.