Trump advisor, linked to Russian Federation probe, withdraws candidacy for post

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Page said the trips were "completely unrelated to my limited volunteer role with the campaign and as I've done dozens of times throughout my life".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing renewed questions over how much he knew about Russian efforts to interfere with the USA election, after it was revealed this week that he attended meetings with a Trump campaign adviser who claimed to have extensive contacts with Russians.

He said one person was a "senior person", but he would not reveal the person's identity.

But court documents filed this week by Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed that George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign policy adviser, said he had interactions with Russians and was told Moscow had "dirt" on Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Sessions' testimony directly contradicts an Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit that alleges former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos spoke directly with Sessions about potentially arranging a meeting with then-candidate Trump during the 2016 election.

Both Papadopoulos' and Page's statements appear to cast doubt on comments made by Sessions to the Senate multiple times since his confirmation hearing in early January, as well as remarks made by the president. "I changed my travel plans to go to Russian Federation'".

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"He now needs to come back before the Committee, in person, under oath, to explain why he can not seem to provide truthful, complete answers to these important and relevant questions", Leahy, a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told The New York Times. "I am deeply troubled that this newest revelation strongly suggests that the Senate ― and the American public ― can not trust your word".

Last month he reiterated he did not know of any Trump campaign official having contact with Russian officials - a claim Senate Democrats are pushing back on.

According to a document describing charges against the adviser, Papadopoulos attended a "national security meeting" in DC with then-candidate Trump and other foreign policy advisers, on March 31 2016. "He was not aware of any continuous exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for Russian government as Sen".

Blumenthal wrote Sessions that he should "immediately come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to update [his] testimony and correct any omissions and any statements that may have been incorrect or misleading".

He added that he had "mentioned" the July 2016 trip "to a few other people", but Page declined to be more specific.

"I'm really not involved with the Justice Department".