Robert Aderholt defends Jeff Sessions against allegations of improper Russian contact

Robert Aderholt

Alabama 4th District U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt on Thursday defended Attorney General Jeff Sessions against allegations of improper meetings between then Senator and foreign diplomats.

On Wednesday, Sessions came under fire following a Washington Post report that claimed the Alabama Republican spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign, then denied any meetings under oath during his confirmation hearing.

“The unsubstantiated allegations about Russian coordination are becoming almost like the ‘birther’ issue of the Democratic party,” said Aderholt.“ It is not at all unusual for members of Congress to speak with ambassadors from other countries on an almost weekly basis. The fact of the matter is that Jeff Sessions is an American patriot who would not do anything to jeopardize the sanctity and security of the country he not only has served for decades, but a country he deeply loves.

Aderholt continued, “These allegations are nothing more than a partisan smoke screen to detract from the fact Donald Trump won the election fair and square. It is like some of the Democrats counted their chickens before they were hatched and now have egg on their faces.”

A Sessions spokeswoman has said the contact between Sessions and the Russian Ambassador was simply in the former senator’s capacity as a U.S. Senator and “member of the Armed Services Committee.”

The White House agrees.

An unnamed White House official on Thursday said Sessions had met with the ambassador in his official capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The official said that is consistent with Sessions’ testimony.

According to reports, Sessions reportedly spoke with Kislyak during a July Heritage Foundation event at the Republican National Convention attended by roughly 50 ambassadors from across the globe. He spoke again with Kislyak via phone in September, according to a Sessions’ spokeswoman.