Jeff Sessions to be grilled by Congress over latest Russian Federation revelations
Nov 08 2017
Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page privately testified Thursday that he mentioned to Jeff Sessions he was traveling to Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign - as new questions emerge about the attorney general's comments to Congress about Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
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In a statement, House intel committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Page was "forced to acknowledge" he communicated with high ranking Russian officials, despite previously casting the Russia investigation as a "witch hunt". The former Trump foreign policy aide met with the Senate Intelligence Committee last week as well, and sat for some 10 hours of interviews with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russian Federation in multiple interviews this spring.
Asked about the email, Page told lawmakers he did not mean that he had met with officials, but rather had learned of their views in local media, from scholars in Russian Federation and at a public speech given by Dvorkovich at a conference where Page was also speaking.Page said he had a "brief hello" with Dvorkovich.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to investigators as part of a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian meddling in the USA election. In explaining his email, Page said he spoke briefly with Dvorkovich at a reception - and that he and wanted to share impressions of what he observed on Russian television and in speeches with Trump officials.
"You have them both reporting back to the campaign, you have the campaign deceiving the public about their knowledge of these things", Schiff said."So I hardly think that these are coincidental".
In his July 2016 note, Page wrote that Dvorkovich had "expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to a vast range of current worldwide problems". Page said he did not recall the email until a reporter from The Washington Post told him about it in August of this year.
In one email to fellow campaign aides, Page suggested that Trump perhaps take his place and travel to Moscow "to raise the temperature a little bit" and, in another, he asked how campaign officials would "prefer me to focus" his remarks.
"He didn't say yes and he didn't say no", the official said, declining to be more specific about Trump's response to Papadopoulos. "A source familiar with the meeting told CNN that the encounter occurred at a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club, attended by members of the Trump national security team, including Sessions", the network reported. Clovis's decision came just days after court filings indicated that he may have encouraged President Trump's campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to set up meetings with Russians for the Trump campaign.
But Sessions shot the idea down, Gordon said.
Page said he was invited to speak at a Moscow university after he became affiliated with the Trump campaign in the spring of 2016.
Page addressed some of the questions about those trips in more than seven hours of testimony last week to the House committee. Page also tells 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.
He has for months said the trip was made as a private citizen, not as part of his role with the Trump campaign.