House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday that she’s never met with the current Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.
“Not with this Russian ambassador, no,” Pelosi told POLITICO’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer during a Playbook interview, when asked whether she had ever met with the Russian envoy.
But a file photo from Pelosi’s 2010 meeting with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev shows Kislyak at the table across from Pelosi — then House speaker — and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Medvedev had been in the country for a meeting with President Barack Obama a day earlier and stopped in on Capitol Hill to meet with congressional leaders as well.
Asked to square Pelosi’s comments with the photo of the meeting, a spokesman said Pelosi simply meant she never had a solo meeting with Kislyak.
“Of course, that’s what she meant,” said the spokesman, Drew Hammill. “She has never had a private one-on-one with him.”
After Trump needled Pelosi on Twitter about the matter, Pelosi hit back with her own tweet and another statement from her spokesman.
“Leader Pelosi’s answer to the question today was clearly about private, one-on-one meetings, which she has never had with Ambassador Kislyak,” Hammill said. “The Ambassador was incidental to the 2010 meeting between then-Russian President Medvedev and then-Speaker Pelosi. Clearly, one needs to remind Politico that Attorney General Sessions lied under oath about a secret meeting amidst Russia’s hacking of our election, which he also didn’t disclose in a written questionnaire.”
Also visible in the picture is Texas Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry. And a Democratic source noted that alongside Pelosi — but obscured in the picture — is former House GOP leader Eric Cantor.