Former Trump adviser Page met Russian officials in 2016 Moscow trips

Posted November 08, 2017

One of them was Jeff Sessions, then an Alabama senator and early Trump endorser and now the attorney general.

Seperately, Sessions is due to appear in a closed session before the House Intelligence Committee on November 14, a source familiar with that panel's plans said.

Last Monday, unsealed court records showed former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government - the campaign's clearest connection so far to Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.

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.

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Page says he had no personal information about Russian election interference. He is at least the second member of the foreign policy team contacted by Russians with offers of help or meetings. That theory rests largely on a dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

The case of Page, an energy consultant and graduate of the Naval Academy, has attracted scrutiny since he was named an adviser to the campaign in March 2016.

His trip to Moscow in July 2016 came after he joined the Trump campaign and he used it to deliver a pro-Russia speech at a university. Page then traveled back to Russian Federation after Election Day past year.

Page sent the email describing his interaction with Dvorkovich in Moscow to campaign aide J.D. Gordon, as well as a different campaign aide.

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In numerous public interviews, Page has always denied he met with other Russian officials, notably with Igor Sechin, a Putin associate. "In his testimony, however, he was forced to acknowledge that he communicated with high level Russian officials while in Moscow, including one of Russia's Deputy Prime Ministers". Their conversation, he told investigators, was not about coordination with Russian Federation on the campaign, but largely limited to an exchange of pleasantries.

That disclosure, first reported last week, has led Democrats to accuse Sessions of misleading Congress in testimony under oath when he said he wasn't aware of Trump campaign contacts with Russians. "I've played this nonsensical game long enough and am not interested in this latest round tonight", he said.

"Were you being honest in your communication with the campaign?" the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, asked Page. After the reports, Sessions acknowledged the meetings and went on to recuse himself from investigations related to the 2016 campaign.

In keeping with the Halloween spirit, the poll also found that Americans say that Trump is scarier than ghosts, vampires, witches, mummies, zombies and werewolves - but not scarier than the devil.

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