Inquiry Widens Following Disclosure Of Trump Aides Told About Russia Contacts : NPR


Carter Page, former international coverage adviser for the Trump marketing campaign, speaks to the media after testifying earlier than the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Carter Page, former international coverage adviser for the Trump marketing campaign, speaks to the media after testifying earlier than the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former Trump marketing campaign international coverage adviser Carter Page instructed quite a lot of his marketing campaign colleagues and supervisors about his dealings with Russians, he instructed members of Congress final week.

One of them was Jeff Sessions, then an Alabama senator and early Trump endorser and now the legal professional common. Sessions has beforehand denied he was conscious of anybody within the marketing campaign speaking or coping with Russians who had been interfering with the election.

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Page’s disclosure will increase the strain on Sessions forward of a listening to scheduled for subsequent week earlier than the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats have howled about latest information within the Russia imbroglio that seems to contradict Sessions’ longstanding claims that he did not know concerning the overtures from Russia to folks within the Trump marketing campaign.

The new particulars come from Page’s closed-door testimony final week with the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s interference in final yr’s election. The panel reached an settlement with Page to launch the transcript of his interview to the general public and the committee posted the transcript on-line late Monday.

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Page’s feedback present the newest confirmed contacts between members of the Trump marketing campaign and Russians in the course of the presidential race. He is not less than the second member of the international coverage workforce contacted by Russians with presents of badist or conferences.

Another adviser on the similar time Page joined the marketing campaign, George Papadopoulos, pleaded responsible to mendacity to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. Papadopoulos and Page each served as members of candidate Trump’s international coverage committee.

Papadopoulos additionally instructed his superiors on the marketing campaign that he was being supplied “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and “off the record” conferences with Russian leaders — which, in keeping with courtroom paperwork, he was inspired to pursue.

The case of Page, an power advisor and graduate of the Naval Academy, has attracted scrutiny since he was named an adviser to the marketing campaign in March 2016.

For greater than a yr, questions have swirled a few journey Page made to Moscow in July 2016 throughout which he delivered a graduation speech on the New Economic School, a Moscow college. Page then traveled again to Russia after Election Day final yr.

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Page addressed among the questions on these journeys in additional than seven hours of testimony final week to the House committee.

Page stated that earlier than heading to Moscow he knowledgeable then-campaign supervisor Corey Lewandowski together with communications director Hope Hicks and J.D. Gordon, who was managing the candidate’s nationwide safety workforce. Hicks is now the White House communications director.

For months, Page has lengthy denied badembly with Russian authorities officers whereas in Moscow. But in keeping with the transcript, he instructed lawmakers that he did certainly communicate with members of the Russian authorities and state-owned companies, together with deputy prime minister Andriy Dvorkovich.

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The two males had a short interplay on the graduation ceremony, the place Dvorkovich additionally spoke, Page stated. Their dialog, he instructed investigators, was not about coordination with Russia on the marketing campaign, however largely restricted to an change of pleasantries.

Page supplied the Trump marketing campaign a “readout” about his journey, together with the discussions with Russian officers.

He wrote to Gordon and Tera Dahl, a former columnist at Breitbart, that he would ship them a memo “regarding some incredible insights and outreach I’ve received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the presidential administration here.”

The House panel’s prime Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, cited a memo Page despatched marketing campaign officers, that quoted Page as writing “in a private conversation, Dvorkovich 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.”

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Page performed down these feedback, telling Schiff that his insights had been drawn from listening to Dvorkovich’s speech and public statements, and from studying the Russian press and watching Russian tv.

Page additionally acknowledged to members of Congress that he has had not less than 4 conferences with the FBI badociated to the Russia investigation. He denies any wrongdoing, and says that he has been the topic of a witch hunt.

President Trump additionally calls the Russia investigation a witch hunt, and has repeatedly stated there was no collusion between his marketing campaign and the Kremlin.

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