Tags: Russia | carter page | russia | sanctions

Carter Page: 'Something May Have Come Up' in Russia Sanctions

ABC's "Good Morning America"

By    |   Thursday, 13 Apr 2017 08:53 AM

Former Donald Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page Thursday denied suggesting during a trip to Russia last summer that the president would be open to easing sanctions, but then admitted that he did not "recall every single word" that he had said during his visit.

"Something may have come up in a conversation," Page told ABC's "Good Morning America" anchor George Stephanopoulos. "I have no recollection and there is nothing specifically I would have done that would have given people that impression."

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that the FBI last summer obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to monitor Page's communications, as part of a probe of potential links between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The FISA application cited contacts Page had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, reports the Post, and other communications with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed.

Page on Thursday dismissed the FISA claims on a "dodgy dossier" of "false evidence" sent by former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada to FBI Director James Comey.

"Who knows what the exact basis of it is," said Page. "I really look forward to seeing it."

Stephanopoulos noted that there is a great deal of focus on Page's trip to Russia last July, when he met with Russian academics and people in the business community.

But when asked if he'd met anyone in the Russian government or connected to Russian intelligence, Page admitted to saying "hello briefly" to one person who was a board member of a new economic school, where he gave his speech.

Page insisted "absolutely not" when Stephanopoulos asked if he'd made any suggestions about sanctions. However, when the ABC anchor asked him if that meant "never, not once," Page said he did not remember.

"I never offered that, no, nothing along those lines, absolutely not," said Page. "I mean, it may — topics — I don't remember — we'll see what comes out in this FISA transcript."

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.

Page also denied that there were any conversations about emails that had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee concerning Hillary Clinton's campaign, saying he was "absolutely sure" that there was "not a word."

"How can you be sure you didn't talk about that but not sure if you talked about easing of sanctions?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"Well, that didn't happen until a couple of weeks later, I believe, during the Democratic National Convention, right," said Page. "I was already back from there at the time and actually the Cleveland convention was the week before."

At about that time Page was separated from the Trump campaign, said Stephanopoulos, and shortly after that, the FISA court granted the warrant, said Stephanopoulos, asking if Page had any contact with Trump or the campaign since that time.

"I have not, since the inauguration, I have not spoken with anyone," said Page. But from August until January, "there were various people I would speak to from time to time, old colleagues, etcetera."

He described those communications as "light contact," that did not involve "discussions of anything substantive or relating to the things that have been accused."

Trump and his top advisers accept the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 election, Stephanopoulos said, but Page replied he didn't have inside information about what had happened.

"What I do know is that these false attacks that were taken against me had a much bigger impact than anything that may have come out in WikiLeaks, and these same lies keep swirling around months and months on end," said Page. "[They are] having a really negative impact on U.S./Russia relations and really the United States' position in the world."

Page also said he is confident that he nor anyone involved in the Trump campaign will be convicted of a crime.

"That would be ridiculous," said Page. "Absolutely not."

Meanwhile, Page refused to comment about who brought him into the Trump campaign to begin with, "because there's always these various conspiracy theories that anyone I work with ... I just don't want to have people's lives disrupted. If I told you a name, there would be dozens of calls to that individual within minutes."

He described his role with the campaign as that of an "informal adviser, a member of a committee which was put together, a team of individuals who were looking at various foreign policy issues and working, thinking through some of the issues that were on the table."

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Former Donald Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page Thursday denied suggesting during a trip to Russia last summer that the president would be open to easing sanctions, but then admitted that he did not "recall every single word" that he had said during his visit.
carter page, russia, sanctions
Thursday, 13 Apr 2017 08:53 AM
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