File - In this Sept. 6, 2013, file photo, Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the U.S. speaks with reporters at the Center for the National Interest in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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WASHINGTON: The Trump administration's back-to-back controversies over its Russian ties now have at least one thing in common: Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.At issue Thursday were two meetings between Sessions and Kislyak – one in July and another in September, at the height of concern over Russia's involvement in the hacking of Democratic officials' email accounts. Intelligence officials have since concluded that Moscow ordered the hacks to tilt the election toward Trump. During his confirmation hearing, the Alabama Republican denied having had contact with any Russian officials, neglecting to mention the meetings with Kislyak, which were first reported by the Washington Post.Kislyak framed U.S.-Russian relations as salvageable and said he hoped specifically to combat what he considered cartoonish, anti-Russian depictions of his government in the American news media.Kislyak, 66, has bounced between the United States and Russia for most of his long career.Foreign diplomats to the United States likely expect that their activities will be monitored by U.S. authorities in the same manner that American diplomats are monitored in countries like Russia.
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