Carter Page's rambling testimony offered new insights on Russian Federation investigation

JeffSessions

JeffSessions

Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump, testified to U.S. lawmakers that he met with a Russian deputy prime minister on two trips to Moscow in 2016 and consulted with senior Trump campaign staff about one visit.

Page also said he let senior members of Trump's campaign staff know of his trip in July 2016, including then-Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who is now U.S. attorney general, as well as senior Trump aides Hope Hicks and Corey Lewandowski.

Perhaps most important, Page - after being presented with an email he sent to his campaign supervisors, and which he did not disclose to the Committee prior to the interview and despite a subpoena from the Committee - detailed his meetings with Russian government officials and others, and said that they provided him with insights and outreach that he was interested in sharing with the campaign.

On Oct. 18, Sessions testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was not aware of anyone in the Trump campaign that had communications with the Russians.

Page wrote in a July 2016 email to Trump campaign aides that Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich "expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to a vast range of current worldwide problems", according to a transcript of more than six hours of testimony Page gave last week before a House of Representatives committee investigating Russian interference in the USA election.

Page characterized his July 2016 trip to Russia as a "private" trip and said his interactions with Russians were largely confined to the "man on the street", Schiff said in a statement Monday night. He maintained that his interaction with Dvorkovich consisted of a brief greeting, and that he had learned his views on the campaign while listening to Dvorkovich's public address.

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Page denied meeting with key Putin ally Igor Sechin (background) but admitted meeting with one of his employees.

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Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to investigators as part of a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian meddling in the US election.

Another adviser, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty in October to lying to federal agents about Russian contacts during the campaign.

Page offered the Trump campaign a "readout" about his trip, including the discussions with Russian officials.

Page's testimony shows that a number of Trump campaign officials were aware of his plans to travel to Moscow before he left - and that he updated others on his return.

Rep. Schiff confronted him about an email he wrote in May 2016, suggesting that then-candidate Trump "take my place and raise the temperature a little bit" by going to the Russian university speaking gig.

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"I hadn't watched Russian TV for many years, but watching Russian TV in my few days in Moscow there", Page said.

A US intelligence source claimed in September 2016 that Page met with Sechin, who raised the issue of lifting those sanctions after the election.

Page's original emergence into the spotlight came in a Yahoo News report past year, where he was alleged to have met with administration official Igor Diveykin and Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russian oil behemoth Rosneft and an ally to Vladimir Putin.

Page's Russian contacts did not end on his return from Moscow.

Page said during his testimony Thursday that he informed then-U.S. Sen.

During the seven-hour session with the committee, Page also said he had an email that documents Lewandowski's approval and would provide it to the panel.

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He also acknowledged a separate trip to Moscow in December 2016 and an early September 2016 trip to Budapest for meetings with Hungarian government officials, the details of which he would not elaborate.

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