Carter Page Now Says Sanctions 'May Have Come Up' During Russia Trip

Pavel Golovkin  AP

Page told the Post he had "nothing to hide".

"Something may have come up in a conversation" previous year when he was in Moscow to speak at the New Economic School, ' he admitted Thursday. During the brief encounter, which occurred in New York City, Lewandowski suggested that the two get to know each other. Despite growing revelations about contact between members of his campaign and the Russians, Donald Trump and his staff repeatedly deny any wrongdoing or collusion. The former Merrill Lynch banker, who has an office in a building next to Trump Tower, has refused to discuss the matter publicly.

He said it was not Paul Manafort, a former campaign chairman. In the wake of the bombshell that Page was the target of an FBI FISA warrant monitoring his communications to determine if he had been working as a Russian agent, Page attempted to vindicate himself during a "Good Morning America" interview with George Stephanopoulos. You know, it's going to be interesting. "They don't want to reveal who they are looking for".

"Well, that didn't happen until a couple of weeks later, I believe, during the Democratic National Convention, right", said Page. His lecture delivered to the graduates of Russia's elite school of economics on July 7 included a critique of America's foreign policy for "often-hypocritical focus on democratization" while praising Russian Federation for really moving ahead. The FBI did not respond to requests to comment on the report.

He also said he did not recall "every single word that I ever said", but that he would never make or infer such an offer. "I have no recollection".

Page was brought on to the campaign to help fill a bare-bones campaign policy shop, sources have told TheDC.

The Post's Tom Hamburger has documented this in several detailed stories. Page has become a real man of mystery in the RussiaGate scandal.

In interviews as recently as February, Page had said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had not questioned him, but in his CNN interview he declined to answer.

"All of this false evidence that you've been hearing about myself with the dodgy dossier and other false reports going back through most of last summer, well, that will - that will have very different implications, so this is a real game changer if it turns out to be true", Page said, referring to a controversial report ccompiled by a former British spy that alleges ties between Trump and Russian Federation. Some campaign advisers said that though Page was aggressive in his attempts to submit policy proposals, his ideas were never implemented in campaign strategy or its policy framework.

In recent months White House officials have tried to downplay Page's role with the campaign. In July, he traveled to Moscow to speak at a ceremony for the New Economic School. But, Page added, he had "not closely studied that".

It appeared to show that Russian Federation had assembled embarrassing information about Trump that could be used as leverage against him - including a report that placed him in a sexually compromising position with Moscow prostitutes.

His name surfaced in a dossier or reports on links between the Trump operation and Russian Federation compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

He said he was never on the campaign payroll.

But Page insisted there's no chance he or anyone linked to Trump will be convicted of a crime following a government probe into whether he acted as an agent for Russian Federation in the months preceding the November election.

Obtaining a FISA warrant is no easy task and requires the investigating agents to present substantial evidence of probable cause that a person is acting as an agent of a foreign government.

FISA warrants are some of the most heavily-guarded secrets in US law enforcement, and applications for such warrants are incredibly detailed and comprehensive. Three spies who were working under cover met with Page and discussed their recruitment attempts. BuzzFeed News first reported the affidavit earlier this month.

"That would be ridiculous", said Page. There are extensions for the warrants and the one for Carter Page was extended at least once. He was the campaign official who gave final approval to Page's visit to Moscow.

The downgrading of the importance of Page is typical of Trump camp tactics.



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