Sunday, March 05, 2017
"Despite the high regard in which he was held, Kislyak increasingly found that he had almost no audience in Washington. During a November talk at Stanford hosted by McFaul, Kislyak said that it was “the worst point of our relations after the end of the Cold War.” There was almost no contact between the two sides during the last two years of the Obama Administration. “We have learned during these two years to live without you, and you have learned to live without us,” Kislyak said.
During that lull, Kislyak’s attention seemed to drift to a new target: Donald Trump and his advisers. In July, at the Republican National Convention, and in September, Kislyak met with Jeff Sessions, who at the time was Donald Trump’s most high-profile supporter in the Senate, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. Sessions concealed the meetings from a Senate committee during his confirmation hearing as Trump’s nominee for Attorney General. This week, after the meetings were reported, Sessions insisted that he met with Kislyak only in his capacity as a member of the Armed Services Committee. McFaul scoffed at that idea. “He’s meeting with Senator Sessions because of his relationship to Trump, not because of what he does on the Senate Armed Services Committee,” he said. “We now know he’s the Attorney General, but back then he was talked about for all kinds of jobs, including Secretary of Defense.”
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national-security adviser, had several conversations with Kislyak during the transition. In December, he met with Kislyak at Trump Tower, along with Jared Kushner, to “establish a more open line of communication in the future,” according to the White House. Later that month, after the Obama Administration kicked out Russian diplomats and instituted economic sanctions, Kislyak and Flynn had phone conversations in which they discussed the future of those sanctions. Flynn’s effort to conceal those talks led to his resignation, last month."
Why Would Jeff Sessions Hide Talks with Sergey Kislyak? - The New Yorker