This piece was initially revealed on Just Security, an internet discussion board for evaluation of U.S. nationwide safety regulation and coverage.
Last Thursday, Carter Page testified earlier than a closed-door session of the House Intelligence Committee for greater than 5 hours, admitting that he met with Russian officers whereas touring to Moscow in July 2016. Page’s admission represents a reversal of his constant denials over the previous 12 months. This timeline delineates key occasions in Carter Page’s connections to Russia earlier than, throughout, and after the Trump marketing campaign.
2004 to 2007. According to Page’s biography on the web site of Global Energy Capital, his enterprise capital agency, he served as a vp on the Merrill Lynch workplace in Moscow and remained there for 3 years. The bio provides that Page served as an adviser “on key transactions for Gazprom, RAO UES and others.” Page informed Bloomberg News in March 2016 that he suggested Russian power big Gazprom because it was shopping for a stake in a profitable Russian Far East oil and fuel undertaking referred to as Sakhalin II.
However, Politico later reported that the CEO of Sakhalin Energy, who negotiated with Gazprom on the deal, mentioned that he didn’t know anybody named Carter Page and didn’t consider Merrill Lynch was concerned with front-line deal negotiations in any respect, as a result of the negotiations had been political and completed on the CEO stage, with Putin himself giving the ultimate approval.
A supply from RAO UES confirmed that Page did work on the privatization of the oil firm, whereas including that “[Page] made no impression whatsoever. Whether he was there or not, it made no difference. … When you’re dealing with a pro, you see it. Page, unfortunately, did not leave that impression.”
Similarly, Sergei Aleksashenko, who directed the Merrill Lynch workplace in Moscow for a part of the time Page was there, informed Politico: “[Page] wasn’t great and he wasn’t terrible … without any special talents or accomplishments. … What can you say about a person who in no way [is] exceptional?”
January to June 2013. Page meets and offers paperwork regarding U.S. sanctions towards Russia to Victor Podobnyy, an alleged Russian intelligence operative in New York City. Page gives paperwork to him from January to June. Podobnyy served as an operative for Russia’s exterior intelligence company whereas formally claiming to work at Moscow’s U.N. Mission in New York, though Page believed he was a Russian businessman. Page later informed BuzzFeed that their interactions didn’t embody something delicate.
Court paperwork present that Podobnyy tried to recruit Page (“Male-1”) “as an intelligence source.” Pobodnyy didn’t appear impressed with Page, labeling him an “idiot,” however one whose eagerness to garner plenty of cash may make him helpful. Podobnyy claimed to have provided to attach Page with Russian commerce representatives in trade for paperwork about U.S. sanctions towards Russia.
Podobnyy: [Page] wrote that he’s sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to examine his inbox, however he needs to satisfy when he will get again. I feel he’s an fool and forgot who I’m. Plus he writes to me in Russian [to] follow the language. He flies to Moscow extra usually than I do. He received hooked on Gazprom considering that if they’ve a undertaking, he may very well be stand up. Maybe he can. I don’t know, nevertheless it’s apparent that he needs to earn plenty of cash.
Podobnyy: […] For now his enthusiasm works for me. I additionally promised him quite a bit…
Podobnyy: I didn’t even point out that this [Podobnyy’s offer to connect Page with Trade Representatives] is related to a authorities company. This is intelligence technique to cheat, how else to work with foreigners? You promise a favor for a favor. You get the paperwork from him and inform him to go ____ himself…This is good working technique.
Summer 2014. The FBI begins monitoring Page’s communications beneath a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, owing to his 2013 contacts with Russian operatives.
Jan. 23, 2015. The U.S. authorities expenses Podobnyy and two different Russian operatives for performing as unregistered brokers of a overseas authorities, after it had damaged up a Russian spy ring aimed toward looking for data on U.S. sanctions. Federal prosecutors embody the Russian intelligence effort to recruit Page as a part of the federal government’s proof.
March 21, 2016. In an interview with the Washington Post, Donald Trump personally names the then-obscure Page as a part of his overseas coverage crew. News protection on the time centered on how unusual a alternative this was given Page’s lack of expertise. (In the identical interview, Trump additionally listed George Papadopoulos, who graduated from faculty in 2009.)
Early June 2016. At a closed-door overseas coverage roundtable held for visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Page praises Putin as a stronger and extra dependable chief than President Obama. He added Trump presidency would have a optimistic efficient on U.S.-Russian relations. The badembly was held at Blair House in Washington.
Weeks earlier than Page’s journey to Russia. Then–Trump marketing campaign supervisor Corey Lewandowski approves Page’s journey to Moscow provided that he not act as an official consultant of the marketing campaign whereas there. Page initially asks J.D. Gordon, his supervisor on the nationwide safety crew, who strongly advises towards taking the journey. Then, Page emails Lewandowski and Trump marketing campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks for official approval, and Lewandowski approves. The Trump marketing campaign would refuse to acknowledge whether or not it had permitted Page’s journey for a number of months, till Politico broke the story.
July 7 and eight, 2016. Carter Page provides a rambling speech and Q&A on “the future of the world economy” on the World Trade Center in Moscow. The subsequent day, he provides the graduation tackle on the New Economic School in Moscow, criticizing U.S. coverage towards Russia as too harsh. At each occasions, Page refuses to touch upon whether or not he would meet with Russian officers.
An intelligence file claims that whereas in Russia, Page met with Igor Sechin, a Putin ally and former Russian deputy prime minister who’s now chief government of Russian oil conglomerate Rosneft. The identical file claims he additionally met Igor Diveykin, Putin’s deputy chief for inner coverage, whom U.S. officers consider was liable for Russian businesses’ intelligence-gathering in regards to the 2016 election. According to the file, Diveykin informed Page that he had compromising materials on Hillary Clinton.
July 20, 2016. Page meets with Russian Ambbadador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Nevertheless, Page regularly denied that he had met with any Russian officers throughout the marketing campaign.
Aug. 5, 2016. Hicks tells the Washington Post that Page is an “informal foreign policy adviser … [he] does not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign.”
Aug. 29, 2016. Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid writes a letter to then–FBI Director James Comey calling for an investigation into proof suggesting that Russia might attempt to manipulate the outcomes of the 2016 election. In it, he not directly refers to Page’s speech in Moscow criticizing U.S. sanctions coverage towards Russia.
Late summer season 2016. The FBI obtains one other secret courtroom order from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court choose to observe Page’s communications, after convincing the choose that there was possible trigger to consider Page was performing as an agent of a overseas energy. The FBI waited till the Trump marketing campaign had parted methods with Page to start surveilling him.
The FBI had beforehand surveilled Page in 2014. The bureau’s renewed curiosity in him in 2016 was sparked by issues that Russian intelligence was concentrating on him for doable use as an badet.
Sept. 23, 2016. Yahoo News stories that U.S. intelligence businesses are investigating whether or not Page engaged in personal communications with senior Russian officers, together with talks a couple of potential lifting of financial sanctions ought to Trump be elected president. The report provides that Page’s actions have been mentioned with senior members of Congress throughout briefings about suspected Russian makes an attempt to affect the election, and that Sen. Reid wrote his August letter to Comey after a type of briefings.
Meanwhile, Trump marketing campaign spokesman Jason Miller tells Yahoo that Page “has no role. … We are not aware of any of his activities, past or present.”
Sept. 24, 2016. Steven Cheung, the Trump marketing campaign’s director of fast response, mirrors Miller’s feedback, telling ABC News:
He [Page] has no function. … We are usually not conscious of any of his actions, previous or current.
Sept. 25, 2016. Trump marketing campaign supervisor Kellyanne Conway tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that Page will not be a part of the Trump marketing campaign:
He’s actually not a part of the marketing campaign I’m working, which means we don’t have him—we’ve a variety of folks, fabulous folks, women and men, as a part of our nationwide safety and overseas coverage crew. And he’s not amongst them at Trump Tower.
Tapper asks if Page had any contact with Kremlin officers, to which Conway responds:
If he’s doing that, he’s actually not doing it with the permission or data of the marketing campaign, the actions that you simply described. … He is actually not approved to try this.
Sept. 25, 2016. Page sends a letter to then–FBI director Comey, stating: “For the record, I have not met this year with any sanctioned official in Russia despite the fact that there are no restrictions on U.S. persons speaking with such individuals.”
He additionally writes that he has bought his “de minimis” stake in Russian power big Gazprom at a loss. Bloomberg News reported on Page’s “deep ties” to Gazprom in March, however a Politico account in September prompt Page exaggerated his contacts with Gazprom. Politico notes that when Page based an funding fund referred to as Global Energy Capital in 2008, former Gazprom government Sergei Yatsenko served as a badociate within the enterprise.
Sept. 26, 2016. In his first public feedback about accusations that he met with Russian officers, Page tells the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin: “All of these accusations are just complete garbage.” He provides: “All the ones that are mentioned in the various articles, I didn’t meet with any of those guys. … It’s completely false and inconceivable that someone would even accuse me of that.” Page admits, nonetheless, that he did briefly meet and shake fingers with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, a fellow speaker on the New Economic School graduation tackle.
Page additionally tells Rogin that he’ll take a depart of absence from the Trump marketing campaign: “This is another distraction that’s been created here. … There’s so little time between now and the election, this is in the best interests of the candidate. It’s so ridiculous I want to have it behind us.”
Dec. eight to Dec. 13, 2016. Page visits Moscow once more, telling state-operated RIA Novosti information service, “I am meeting with business leaders and thought leaders.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry S. Peskov tells journalists that Russian officers had no plans to satisfy with Page and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says that overseas ministry officers additionally had no plans to satisfy Page.
In remarks posted to YouTube, Page says he had “the opportunity to meet with an executive from Rosneft,” the Russian oil big, whereas in Moscow. Page tells the AP he was not referring to Igor Sechin, the Putin ally whom U.S. intelligence businesses believed Carter might need met with in July.
On Dec. 12, at a public lecture in Moscow and in response to a query from Sputnik News about his relationship to Trump, Page says, “I made a commitment not to talk about the internal work that I did at the campaign. I have certainly been in a number of meetings with him [Trump].”
Jan. 12, 2017. At President-elect Trump’s first information convention, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer denies that Trump is aware of who Page is: “Carter Page is an individual whom the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign.”
Feb. 15, 2017. In an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, Page says he had no conferences with Russian officers in 2016:
I had no conferences, no conferences. … I might need mentioned hi there to some folks as they had been strolling by me at my commencement—the commencement speech that I gave in July, however no conferences.
March 2, 2017. In a reversal of his earlier feedback, Page tells MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that “I do not deny that [I met with Russian Ambbadador Sergey Kislyak].” He provides, “I’m not going to deny that I talked with him. … I will say that I never met him anywhere outside of Cleveland, let’s just say that much.”
The interview comes on the heels of USA Today reporting that Page was one among two marketing campaign officers apart from Jeff Sessions who met with Kislyak. Page cites “confidentiality rules” in refusing to say what he mentioned with Kislyak, including: “I had no substantive discussions with him.” However, Page’s invocation of confidentiality guidelines suggests he’s attempting to guard the contents of substantive discussions on the Global Partners for Diplomacy convention in Cleveland, which occurred throughout the 2016 Republican National Convention.
March three, 2017. In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Page suggests he’s uncertain whether or not Russia ever interferes within the inner affairs of different international locations, and affords instead that the U.S. has interfered within the inner affairs of Ukraine.
Cooper: Your legitimacy on this, your credibility on this does appear beneath query should you’re fully unwilling to take a look at something Russia might or might not have completed to even entertain the notion that Vladimir Putin could be succesful—I imply I learn some quote you learn throughout your speech in Moscow and I want I had it in entrance of me, principally it’s a quote by Vladimir Putin which says—right here it’s. He mentioned, we by no means meddle within the inner political affairs of different international locations, in contrast to the U.S., do you consider Vladimir Putin?
Page: I feel what he’s saying—the purpose I used to be attempting to make is that I don’t—I don’t—I’m not right here—I made very clear that I used to be not there as a part of the Trump camp—Trump marketing campaign.
Cooper: Do you consider that Russia meddles within the inner political affairs of different international locations?
Page: I don’t know something about that. All I do know—
Cooper: You don’t know something about that?
Cooper: You truthfully can say—you’ve gotten a PhD, proper? You truthfully can say about you don’t know something about whether or not Russia meddles within the inner affairs of different international locations?
Page: I–you realize, within the context of my life all which, you realize, all these defamation method by the Clinton marketing campaign to tug my title out—
Cooper: Carter, you’re not making sense. Yes or no. You can simply inform me, yeah, I don’t consider that Russia ever meddles within the inner political affairs of different international locations or sure, I consider they do.
Page: Listen I imply, you realize, they might—I feel all international locations, you realize, are—actually the U.S., should you take a look at what occurred in Ukraine, proper, on–
Cooper: —the U.S. meddled in inner—after all. The CIA—
Page: —precisely. So, yeah, I feel that’s a good badertion.
March 9, 2017. Papadopoulos tells the Associated Press that he has met Page solely “once very briefly.”
April 13, 2017. Page tells ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he has “no recollection” of discussing aid from U.S. sanctions on Russia throughout his journey to Moscow in July 2016, although he provides “something may have come up in a conversation. … I have no recollection, and there’s nothing specifically that I would have done that would have given people that impression. … Someone may have brought it up. … And if it was, it was not something I was offering or that someone was asking for.” Page provides: “I never offered that [Trump might be interested in easing sanctions on Russia]” however qualifies that, “I don’t recall every single word.”
Oct. 30, 2017. Unsealed courtroom information reveal that Papadopoulos was arrested in July for mendacity to the FBI about his communications with Russians. Page tells MSNBC’s Hayes: “We [Papadopoulos and I] met briefly a couple times early in the campaign, yeah.”
Hayes: Were you guys on electronic mail chains collectively, you and Papadopoulos?
Page: Look, there’s a whole lot of emails in every single place whenever you’re in a marketing campaign.
Hayes: Were you in electronic mail chains with Papadopoulos?
Page: Probably a number of, yeah.
Hayes: Were you on electronic mail chains with him about Russia?
Page: It might have come up now and again … once more, y’know, there’s nothing … nothing main, yeah.
Hayes: Well, I imply, nothing main. It was sufficient for him to deceive federal investigators about after which plead responsible to that he was having an middleman come to him and say you need to come to London and speak to somebody who has Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.
Page: Listen, I’ve been centered on different issues at present …
Nov. 2, 2017. The New York Times stories that Page, in testimony earlier than the House Intelligence Committee, reveals he met with Russian officers throughout his July 2016 journey to Moscow. After these conferences, Page reportedly emailed at the least one Trump marketing campaign adviser to distill clbades he discovered from his discussions with authorities officers, legislators, and businessmen.
Page tells the Times in an interview following his testimony: “I had a very brief hello to a couple of people. That was it.” He provides that he met with one “senior person” however doesn’t verify that particular person’s identification. He additionally confirms that he wrote the e-mail to the marketing campaign.
Page tells CNN in a post-testimony interview that in June 2016, he informed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was then head of the Trump marketing campaign nationwide safety crew, that he was planning on touring to Russia that July. He says he knowledgeable Sessions in regards to the journey “in pbading” following a bunch dinner badembly of marketing campaign aides. It was the one time Page met Sessions. Page tells CNN the badembly was unrelated to his marketing campaign function.
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Page invoked his Fifth Amendment rights when requested by the committee why he had not turned in paperwork regarding the probe into Russian interference within the 2016 election. “I’m helping to the greatest extent I can,” Page informed reporters after the testimony.
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