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The Morning Briefing: Sessions Testimony, Cruz Explains Robin Hood to Bernie and Much, Much More

Good Thursday morning.

Here is what's on the President's agenda today:

  • In the afternoon, President Donald J. Trump will meet with Governor Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico.
  • Later in the afternoon, the President will meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
  • In the evening, the President will participate in a gala dinner for UNHCR honoring First Lady Melania Trump at the Embassy of the State of Kuwait.

IS THE SPECIAL COUNSELS OFFICE LEAKING TO DEMOCRATS ON THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE?

Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was cross-examined by the Senate Judiciary Committee. I watched most of this hearing and got the distinct impression the Democrats were more interested in asking their questions so they have sound bytes for campaign commercials and fundraising appeals and less interested in Sessions' answers to their questions. My favorite part of the hearing was when Senator Blumenthal (D-umbass) asked Sessions if Special Counsel Robert Mueller had interviewed him or requested to interview him as part of the ubiquitous RUSSIA investigation.

Here's the transcript of that exchange from the CSPAN video:

Blumenthal: YOU ARE NOT AWARE THAT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL HAS CONTACTED YOUR OFFICE?

Sessions: HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO THE SPECIAL OFFICE HAS CONTACTED -- THE SPECIAL COUNSEL HAS CONTACTED YOUR OFFICE?

Blumenthal: HAS YOUR OFFICE BEEN CONTACTED TO REQUEST AN INTERVIEW WITH YOU BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL? IT IS A YES OR NO --

Sessions: I DO NOT THINK SO.

Blumenthal: YOU DO NOT THINK SO, ARE YOU SURE? I AM ASKING YOU THIS QUESTION IF YOU CAN BE CLEAR.

Sessions: I AM WILLING TO ANSWER TO THE COUNCIL IN ANY WAY. I DO NOT HAVE RECALLED I HAVE BEEN CALLED. SEN.

Blumenthal: THE SPECIAL COUNSEL HAS ASKED HER [sic] OFFICE FOR INTERVIEW WITH YOU, CORRECT?

Sessions: I WILL BE GLAD TO LET YOU KNOW WITHIN HOURS.

Blumenthal: I AM ASKING YOU NOW.

Sessions: I DO NOT KNOW. I DO NOT RECALL OF PROVIDING INTERVIEW WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL. YOU SEEM TO KNOW. I DO NOT WANT TO COME HERE AND WANT TO BE TRAPPED. MAYBE YOU SHARED IT WITH SOMEBODY IN MY OFFICE OR SOMETHING. I WOULD CHECK AND LET YOU KNOW....

Blumenthal: IT MAKE SENSE FOR THE SPECIAL COUNSEL TO ASK FOR INTERVIEW, CORRECT?

Sessions: THAT IS HIS DECISION, NOT MINE.

Blumenthal: HAVE KNOWLEDGE RELEVANT TO THE INVESTIGATION TO COLLUSION AND POTENTIAL OBJECTION OF JUSTICE, CORRECT?

Sessions: IT WOULD BE UP TO THE COUNCIL, NOT ME.

Blumenthal: THE QUESTION TO YOU WAS WHETHER YOUR OFFICE HAS BEEN CONTACTED. YOU WOULD CERTAINLY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.

Sessions: I HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF ANY MEETING, INTERVIEW TO BE CONDUCTED, NO DATES HAVE BEEN SET IF THERE HAS BEEN CONVERSATION WITH SOMEBODY. I WOULD VERIFY BEFORE I GAVE YOU AN ABSOLUTE FINAL ANSWER. WHAT MORE CAN I TELL YOU?...

Blumenthal: CAN YOU GIVE AN ANSWER BEFORE THE DAY IS OUT?

Sessions: JUST -- I WOULD JUST LIKE TO CHECK. YOU SEEM TO KNOW. DO YOU HAVE A SOURCE?

Blumenthal: MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL, YOU WERE THE ONE ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS HERE TODAY. I WILL WELCOME AN ANSWER TO MY QUESTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOLLOWING THE STEERING.