Russian ambassador at centre of Sessions firestorm did not attend corresponding Democratic convention event

BUSINESS INSIDER REPORTED that Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak did not attend a corresponding Democratic National Committee event to one he attended at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he held an initial chat with then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, according to the DNC event’s organiser.


That event was the International Leaders Forum, put on by the National Democratic Institute last July in Philadelphia. The State Department invites foreign ambassadors and dignitaries to both conventions as observers of the US’s democratic election process.

A spokesperson for the NDI, which has hosted the event since the 1984 convention, told Business Insider that Kislyak was not registered for the program and no one present reported seeing him. The spokesperson said there was “no evidence” he was present.

It’s a “widely attended event and … no one remembers seeing him there,” the NDI spokesperson said, later adding, “We talked about a lot, and he’s not like somebody that you wouldn’t notice.”

The spokesperson said he could not confirm whether Kislyak was present for any DNC-related event or the convention itself. Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama, tweeted Thursday that Kislyak was not present for the DNC, which occurred just days after WikiLeaks dumped a trove of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, an act that US intelligence has concluded was done with Russian involvement.

McFaul responded to a subsequent request for comment from Business Insider by telling a reporter to “ask the Russian embassy.” 

The Russian embassy did not return an earlier request for comment from Business Insider.

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