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WATCH: Sessions jokes about Russian meetings in speech to lawyers

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is making light of the grilling he’s received over contacts with Russians.

Sessions opened a speech Friday to the conservative Federalist Society by asking if the former Russian ambassador was in the room. Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling after acknowledging two encounters with the ambassador that he had not previously disclosed.

READ MORE: What we learned and didn’t learn from Sessions’ testimony

There have been suggestions Sessions had a third, unreported contact with the ambassador in April 2016, at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel. That’s where Sessions spoke Friday.

“Before I get started here. Any Russians? Anybody been to Russia?”

The crowd roared with laughter.

In testimony to Congress this week, Sessions displayed a hazy memory of the campaign’s dealings with Russians in the election, denying he ever lied about those contacts.

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