You might think that Jeff Sessions, as a sitting senator during the 2016 presidential campaign and currently attorney general, would remember kinda important issues like campaign collusion with Russia. But Sessions wants you to believe that he’s not lying when he says he doesn’t recall things. He just has a really, really bad memory, according to himself … and an excuse:


“All of you have been in a campaign. But most of you have not participated in a presidential campaign. And none of you had a part in the Trump campaign. It was a brilliant campaign in many ways. But it was a form of chaos every day from day one. We traveled all the time, sometimes to several places in one day.  Sleep was in short supply,” Sessions said. “And I was still a full-time senator keeping a very full schedule during this time.”


Sessions was just so sleep-deprived that when George Papadopoulos offered—in a meeting with Sessions and Donald Trump—to put together a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, it slipped his mind. But now that he’s been forcibly reminded and has to explain how exactly he failed to mention it in previous Senate testimony, he remembers. Sort of.


“I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said during that meeting,” Sessions said. “After reading his account, and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter. But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago, and would gladly have reported it.”


Because that’s the kind of little detail that doesn’t stand out, apparently. Was it so common on that campaign for people to suggest Trump-Putin meetings that Papadopoulos’s offer just passed unnoticed?

With that answer, though, Sessions served notice about what it means when he says he doesn’t recall something. In short: