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Attorney General Jeff Sessions listens at the beginning of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday. Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions today to Congress: "Frankly I had no recollection of this meeting until I saw these news reports. I do now recall that March 2016 meeting at the Trump Hotel" that Papadopoulos attended.

Why this matters: Sessions testimony comes after Congress learned George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to the FBI for lying to federal agents, told other Trump campaign officials — including Sessions — about his efforts to set up a meeting with Russian officials. Sessions chaired the March meeting during which Papadopoulos brought it up, but has previously insisted under oath that he was "not aware" of communication between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Notable moments:

  • On his previous testimony: "My answers have not changed…I have always told the truth."
  • What Sessions told Papadopoulos at the meeting: "I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign to the Russian government...I pushed back against his suggestion…that I thought may have been improper."
  • Whether Papadopoulos' story is incorrect: "I do not challenge his recollection."
  • On Carter Page: He doesn't remember talking with the campaign foreign policy advisor about a trip he took to Russia.
  • The campaign "was a form of chaos every day from day one."
  • Sessions said he didn't talk with anyone on the campaign about the Papadopoulos meeting, although he hedged his response when asked if he spoke with anyone in Congress about it.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”