Trump campaign adviser Carter Page acknowledges meeting with senior Russian officials: transcript

Casey Dawson
November 8, 2017

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, put another nail in Trump's coffin after Carter Page admitted that he not only met with high-level officials in Russian Federation but that he also notified his supervisors on the Trump campaign about the meeting.

Page also told committee members that he told Jeff Sessions, who was then a US senator and is now attorney general, and Sam Clovis, then the national co-chairman of Trump's campaign, that he was traveling to Moscow to make a speech at the New Economic School.

Page also told the panel he had informed some members of the Trump campaign about the trip, and he had planned to share information with them about what he had learned.

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

Schiff is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, one of the multiple congressional committees investigating Russia's election meddling, including possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Under questioning from Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the committee's senior Democrat, Page said he sent a memo to the Trump campaign stating that "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 worldwide problems".

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

An unverified dossier from former British spy Christopher Steele, which Page repeatedly referred to as the "dodgy dossier" said that Page was offered money from a deal privatizing a large portion of Rosneft previous year.

As has been previously reported, Page acknowledged that he may with met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich during the July 2016 trip.

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Page also acknowledged that he had been aware that another volunteer campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, had been meeting with a professor with links to the Kremlin, according to the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

A Russian source told Steele that Sechin and Page held a secret meeting to discuss "the issues of future bilateral energy cooperation and prospects for an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western sanctions against Russia".

Page's trip to Moscow, he testified, was "about just having a warm conversation with individuals" and it culminated with a speech he gave to the New Economic School, a university in Moscow.

Campaign officials rejected that meeting but Clovis suggested that Papadopoulos could make the trip to Moscow himself, according to documents unveiled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller last week.

"It was an idea", Page said, adding that it would have been similar to then-candidate Barack Obama's speech in Germany in 2008. "It's important to remember that Carter Page and George Papadopoulos were peripheral members of a relatively peripheral advisory committee", he said. It was on that trip that he met with the Russian officials.

Page did explain to lawmakers an email he sent to the campaign officials describing a "private conversation" with Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich, in which the Russian "expressed strong support" for Trump.

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.

Page told NBC News Monday night that some lawmakers are focusing on "irrelevant distractions".

It was just a year ago when Donald Trump personally singled out Carter Page, by name, as one of only a handful of people who were advising him on matters of foreign policy. Hicks is now the White House communications director.

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