Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in hot water following revelations that he met twice with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. during the 2016 presidential campaign. As a result, he agreed Thursday to recuse himself from any investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The episode has put a spotlight on the fact that Sessions' feelings about Russia have shifted significantly over time, as the many of Sessions' quotes about Russia demonstrate.
In his confirmation hearing to serve as Attorney General, Sessions stated that he "did not have communications with the Russians" during the campaign, but The Washington Post reported later that met twice with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the U.S., after joining Donald Trump's campaign in 2016. Sessions later said that what he meant in his Senate testimony was that he didn't meet speak with the Russians in his capacity as a Trump supporter, and that he was meeting with Kislyak in his capacity as a U.S. senator.
One notable thing about all of this is that for most of his career as a senator, Sessions has been extremely critical of Russia. But shortly after endorsing Trump in February 2016, Sessions softened his position, and has since struck a much more conciliatory tone towards America's former Cold War rival. Sessions' transformation from hawk to dove on Russia has been fascinating to watch. Let's take a look at some of his choicest quotes about Russia.
They're Not Reliable
I Am Worried
Make 'Em Feel The Pain
After Russia annexed Crimea, Sessions said:
Eggs and Issues Breakfast, as quoted by the Montgomery Advisor, March 2014
A High Price To Pay...
In an interview, Sessions said the following regarding Russian military activity abroad:
RealClearWorld interview, March 26, 2015
...Or Maybe Not
American Council for Capital Formation event, March 17, 2016
Why Can't We Be Friends?
No Communications With The Russians...
Sessions in January: "I did not have communications with the Russians."— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) March 2, 2017
Sessions today: I didn't talk about the Trump campaign to Russians. pic.twitter.com/621Ov4puYN