Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Did Carter Page just confirm some key details from the Steele dossier?

Carter Page Carter Page. AP
Howard Terry | 08 November, 2017, 00:25

Carter Page admitted to meeting Kremlin officials when he was a foreign policy adviser to President Trump's campaign, despite initial denials he had no contact with senior Russian officials at that time, according to a transcript of Page's testimony to the House Intelligence Committee released Monday night.

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 global 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 US election. Page's testimony also revealed that more campaign staff members were aware of his July 2016 trip to Russian Federation than had previously been disclosed, including Jeff Sessions, who is now the attorney general. Sessions was also among those on Team Trump who was notified of Page's July 2016 Moscow trip.

Steele alleged that Sechin offered Page the brokerage of a 19 percent stake in Rosneft in exchange for getting USA sanctions lifted against oligarchs close to Russian president Vladmir Putin.

Former Trump adviser Carter Page's testimony to Congress evolved into a sprawling exchange with lawmakers that now stretches for more than 200 pages, but in between convoluted answers it provided critical insights in the Russian Federation investigation.

He has denied meeting with Sechin while there, but agrees it would have been "a great honor".

Clovis was also the official named in information about the guilty plea of George Papadopoulos, another foreign policy adviser who admitted lying about his efforts to broker a meeting between Trump and Putin.

In March, Gordon told Politico he advised Page not to head to Moscow, where Page's scheduled activities included giving a speech.

Page acknowledged that he received an email from Papadopoulos past year that made a reference to the professor.

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.

"Were you being honest in your communication with the campaign?" the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, asked Page.

At one point in the lead-up to the trip, however, Page pitched to campaign affiliates that Trump go in his place to Russian Federation.

Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

"It was an idea", Page said, adding that it would have been similar to then-candidate Barack Obama's speech in Germany in 2008.

Page said in his testimony that he had "very limited" interaction with Papadopoulos as a fellow Trump adviser.

"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", Schiff said in a statement.

The adviser said that he went to discuss an energy project, but could not remember the names of the government officials that he met with and later kept a correspondence.

The most common theme in Page's testimony was a relentless pivoting towards the dossier compiled by Steele, which he says has led to death threats.

While Russia poses an external threat, "in many respects, the challenge from within is more serious because we have a president who takes issue with the First Amendment and a president who describes the press as the enemy of the people", Schiff said. The Russia collusion reached the highest levels of the campaign, and the White House is trying to cover-up the facts.

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