Carter Page, who suggested President Donald Trump’s marketing campaign on international coverage, jousted with House Intelligence Committee members for practically seven hours final week as lawmakers grilled him about his contacts with Russian officers through the 2016 marketing campaign.
But in contrast to different witnesses within the committee’s investigation of Russian meddling within the 2016 presidential election, Page struck a deal to launch his interview transcript publicly, and the committee posted it — with categorised particulars redacted — on Monday night.
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The longtime vitality marketing consultant has drawn scrutiny for a July 2016 journey to Russia. He was additionally named in a disputed file, compiled by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, that presupposed to element connections between Trump and the Kremlin. Page has dismissed the “dodgy dossier” repeatedly, however he’s additionally provided erratic and typically evasive solutions about his personal Russia connections and his function within the marketing campaign.
Here are the highlights of his marathon interview, which he performed with no lawyer guiding his responses:
Opening badertion sidesteps Russian interference: In his opening remarks to the committee, Page didn’t acknowledge the consensus of the U.S. intelligence neighborhood that Russian gamers had interfered within the election. Instead, he centered on what he mentioned have been “epic fictitious stories” perpetrated by “opposition political research” that “maliciously attacked me and the Trump campaign” within the ultimate months earlier than Election Day. Though Trump received the election, Page in his opening badertion mentioned: “I hope that the lessons from the extraordinary damage suffered by the Trump campaign and myself may help America avoid future domestic attacks on our fundamental democratic principles and constitutional foundations.”
Playing down the affect of Russia-linked adverts: Last week, the House Intelligence Committee questioned attorneys for Facebook, Twitter and Google about 1000’s of paid, Russia-linked adverts on the businesses’ platforms and their affect through the marketing campaign. Page, in his opening badertion, characterised these as “private sector companies … pbadively allowing a few hundred thousand dollars of social media advertisements that virtually no one paid attention to.”
Page requested marketing campaign officers to OK journey to Moscow: During Page’s testimony, he revealed that he despatched an e-mail to a number of marketing campaign officers upfront of his journey to Moscow, together with then-campaign supervisor Corey Lewandowski, Trump adviser Hope Hicks (now the White House communications director) and Trump marketing campaign coverage aide J.D. Gordon. Page instructed lawmakers that Lewandowski mentioned he may go, as long as he went outdoors of his capability as a Trump marketing campaign adviser.
Conveying help from deputy Russian prime minister: Page instructed the committee that after his journey, he relayed to the marketing campaign that in a “private conversation” with Russia’s deputy prime minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, that Dvorkovich had “expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems.” Page mentioned the alternate was simply “a general sentiment of, you know, hope for the future. That’s all he expressed in that brief hello.”
Page additionally acknowledged sending a separate e-mail to marketing campaign advisers, together with Gordon, indicating he deliberate to “send you guys a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I’ve received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential administration here.”
Meeting with the FBI: Page confirmed that he met with the FBI in its ongoing investigation into Russian meddling within the 2016 presidential election. He mentioned brokers usually requested him questions concerning the occasions described within the Steele file, a doc that Trump himself has dismissed as faux and that has come underneath renewed scrutiny as a result of it was commissioned by an opposition badysis agency on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s marketing campaign lawyer. Page mentioned he hadn’t been knowledgeable by particular counsel Robert Mueller that he ought to anticipate to be indicted within the probe.
Fifth Amendment rights: Under questioning from the committee’s prime Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, Page acknowledged that he had invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in opposition to self-incrimination to keep away from turning over related paperwork to the committee. But Page, with no lawyer, repeatedly indicated he had no incriminating paperwork in his possession, prompting Schiff to query why his Fifth Amendment rights could be related. Page, at numerous moments, provided to show over sure emails to the committee that he alleged would undermine the rivalry that collusion with Russia had occurred. But he mentioned he refused to adjust to the committee’s subpoena for paperwork partially due to a mistrust in legislation enforcement that he mentioned was stoked through the 2016 marketing campaign.
How Page obtained to the Trump marketing campaign: Page instructed the House Intelligence Committee that he volunteered himself to grow to be a part of the Trump marketing campaign and that the person who first related him was New York State GOP Chairman Ed Cox. Page described his workplace constructing as positioned subsequent to Trump Tower, and mentioned he had “always had an admiration for President Trump.” So a number of months after the mogul launched his marketing campaign in 2015, Page reached out to Cox and requested him for badist connecting with the Trump camp. Page mentioned Cox then launched him to Trump’s marketing campaign supervisor, Lewandowski.
Page mentioned that his preliminary badembly with Lewandowski was in January 2016 and that Lewandowski was multitasking and solely partially centered on their interactions. He added that he signed a nondisclosure settlement when he joined the marketing campaign.
Contact with Bannon: Page mentioned he recalled receiving textual content messages from Steve Bannon — quickly to be a senior adviser to the Trump White House — in January 2017 advising him in opposition to showing on MSNBC. “He just said that’s probably not a good idea,” Page recalled underneath questioning from Schiff.
Page mentioned Bannon in the end referred to as him and warned him in opposition to making his TV look, which he mentioned was slated not lengthy after the Steele file was publicly posted. Page mentioned the dialog got here across the similar time he had acquired a letter from Jones Day, the legislation agency that represented the Trump marketing campaign, imploring him to not “give the wrong impression that you’re part of the administration or the Trump campaign.”
“And my response to that was, of course I’m not,” Page added. He mentioned he in the end agreed to not do the interview.
GOP platform: Page instructed the committee that he recalled emailing with members of the Trump marketing campaign and different advisers a few last-minute change to the GOP platform no less than 12 months’s Republican National Convention that softened some language concerning the occasion’s help for Ukraine. Page had emailed different marketing campaign advisers, together with Gordon, on July 14 to say “excellent work” on the Ukraine modification.