Carter Page reveals new contacts with Trump campaign, Russians

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Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump, testified to United States lawmakers that he met with a Russian deputy prime minister on two trips to Moscow in 2016 and consulted with senior Trump campaign staff about one visit.

In Page's retelling, he informed the campaign of plans to travel to Moscow in an email to former campaign chair Corey Lewandowski; top Trump aide (and current White House Communications Director) Hope Hicks; and J.D. Gordon, who Page described as the "de facto" organizer of Trump's group of foreign policy advisers.

"In an email on July 8, Page told JD Gordon, a Trump campaign official, that he received "some incredible insights" from his meetings with:Russian legislators and a few members of the presidential administration", according to the testimony.

In numerous public interviews, Page has always denied he met with other Russian officials, notably with Igor Sechin, a Putin associate. Page also floated the idea that Trump travel to Russian Federation in his place to give an Obama-like foreign speech.

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 continued denials of meeting with those officials, but admitted meeting with a high-ranking employee of Sechin's, Rosneft's investor relations head Andrey Baranov. But the details about interactions between his foreign policy advisers and Russians raise new questions about the Trump campaign's dealings with Moscow.

Beyond the meetings that Page had during his summertime trip to Moscow, his testimony also provided a clearer look at how much more senior campaign officials knew of his comings and goings.

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

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.

The House panel's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, cited a memo Page sent campaign officials 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 worldwide problems".

He also admitted to meeting with deputy Russian prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich, though said that the meeting was only a brief handshake at a university commencement where they both spoke and that he learned of other insights through Russian scholars.

That didn't stop him from traveling to Russian Federation again in December 2016.

The transcript of the six-hour interview confirms that Page invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against turning over to the panel certain documents - including those involving his July 2016 trip to Russian Federation - for two reasons.

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

"I hadn't watched Russian TV for many years, but watching Russian TV in my few days in Moscow there", Page said. It was on that trip that he met with the Russian officials. Sessions has denied he was aware of anyone in the campaign communicating or dealing with Russians who were interfering with the election.

Trump has said he does not recall ever speaking to Page.

In an email to campaign officials in advance of the speech, Page wrote: "Please let me know if you have any reservations or thoughts on how you'd prefer me to focus these remarks", according to the transcript.

Page previous sued media outlets in Manhattan federal court over their use of the dossier for reports, and told lawmakers that he wanted to set the record straight.

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