If Trump associate meetings with Russia are routine, why conceal them?

There’s nothing especially strange about a member of the US Senate meeting with an ambassador from a major foreign power like Russia.

It’s part of the job to take meetings like that.

So why did Jeff Sessions deny having communicated with the Russians in his confirmation hearing, if it was perfectly ordinary and innocent for him to do so?

Similarly, Michael Flynn could have made a decent argument that conversations with foreign countries were a normal and appropriate part of the transition process to become national security adviser. So why didn’t he tell the truth about his conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and why did he allow top transition officials to go out and make false claims about them on television?

White House press secretary Sean Spicer insists there’s “no there, there” in stories about Trump’s links to Russia, and that all the questions about Russia never lead to anything important. But if that’s the case, why do administration officials seem to have such problems telling the truth about their contacts with Russia, and why has the administration already had to fire one top official after misleading the public about his contacts with Russia?

One possibility, of course, is that Trump and his people are very incompetent. But that’s not the usual knock on Sessions.

As David Corn notes, the cover-up is not always worse than the crime. Sometimes, when you can’t tell the truth about something, it’s because you have something important to hide.

This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

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