A Brief Sketch (Not Quite Caviar)

#nihil | #WhatTheyVotedFor

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), January, 2014. (AP Photo)

We should probably sketch this detail of the cycle:

• Press Secretary defends Attorney General:

Sessions called the report “false” in a statement last night, saying he “never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign.” He repeated this morning that he would recuse himself wherever it is appropriate to do so.

However, Spicer said that would not apply in this case.

“There’s nothing to recuse himself [from]. He was 100% straight with the committee,” said Spicer, adding that Democrats should be “ashamed of themselves” for playing “partisan politics” on this issue.

(FOX News)

• President defends Attorney General:

President Trump defended Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday night, insisting that the former Alabama senator “did not say anything wrong” amid swirling criticism over his testimony earlier this year about contacts with Russian officials.

Trump appeared to be referring to Sessions’ statements before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation, when Sessions said he had not spoken to Russian officials. It was revealed this week that Sessions twice spoke with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. last year.

“Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong,” Trump said in a statement posted on Facebook. “He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional.”

(Greenwood)

• The Attorney General runs to FOX News for a friendly interview:

Sessions explained that the question he received from Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) at his January confirmation hearing focused specifically on whether he had spoken with Russia continually about the presidential campaign. While Sessions has now admitted he met twice with the Russian ambassador last year, he said they did not have any such conversations about political campaigns.

Why, though, Carlson wondered, did former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s own Russian scandal not raise any red flags with him? After all, Flynn was eventually pressured to resign.

“It was never a thought,” Sessions insisted. It was “unrelated.”

The Russian officials and any one else in the room at the times of his meetings would corroborate that he “did not say one thing that was improper.”

(O’Brien)

Detail of cartoon by Matt Bors, 31 January 2017.That last seems worrisome. We ought not rush to wonder if the Attorney General’s tenure verges on disgraceful collapse, but this really does feel familiar. Nobody seems to know quite how to describe what they are seeing, because #AlternativeFacts do not an #AlternativeReality make, yet it is unclear whether this idea that, Sure, he did it, but he didn’t do anything improper, is a sincerely-held belief—i.e., conditioned or even delusional—or a willful effort at lulzing toward oblivion, a nihilist streak running through those quarters described as alt-Right. And perhaps it seems unfair to simply drop that notion into the discussion, but it’s already in the repertoire, and at some point, the idea that they know the score and just don’t give a damn except for the self-gratification is something we really do need to consider.

____________________

Image notes: Top ― U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), January, 2014. (Photo: AP Photo) Right ― Detail of cartoon by Matt Bors, 31 January 2017.

Fox News Insider. “Spicer: ‘Sessions Was 100% Straight, There’s Nothing to Recuse Himself From'”. 2 March 2017.

Greenwood, Max. “Trump on Sessions: ‘He did not say anything wrong'”. The Hill. 2 march 2017.

O’Brien, Cortney. “Sessions Saw No Red Flags During Michael Flynn’s Own Scandal”. Townhall. 2 March 2017.

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