Carter Page claims he’s never even met President Trump
Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page played down claims he made about being a Kremlin adviser in a 2013 letter, and along with any ties to President Trump.
“I never spoke with him since (2016), I never spoke with him any time in my life,” Page said Monday morning on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
He also responded to the 2013 missive, recently obtained by TIME, in which he boasted about his Moscow ties.
Page told an academic publisher he was quarelling with that he’d been “an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their presidency of the G-20 Summit” in September 2013.
The Kremlin was “bringing people from around the world” including the United Kingdom and Australia to help with the economic summit, which was held in St. Petersburg.
“There was a lot of people advising,” Page said on “GMA.”
Page has been at the center of a GOP-penned, recently declassified memo alleging the Justice Department didn’t provide sufficient evidence to get a warrant renewal in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.
Republican lawmakers who authored the document claim DOJ officials used a controversial dossier partially financed by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
Page has reportedly been on the FBI’s radar since 2013, when he met with a Russian diplomat who was charged two years later with espionage.
Investigators found the diplomat, who’d fled the U.S., was trying to recruit Page as a spy and he may have given over documents.
But Page noted he was only a witness who spoke to federal investigators, and maintained he only passed along course material from a class he was teaching at New York University.
“It sounds a lot worse than reality, but that's reality,” Page said Tuesday.
But Page allegedly came back into the federal spotlight in October 2016, after he left his role advising the Trump campaign during which time he took a trip to Russia. He has not been accused of wrongdoing.
The GOP memo notes the DOJ renewed its warrant to eavesdrop on Page in spring 2017 and leaned on what the former adviser called the “dopey dossier.”
He previously bashed the dossier and the suspicious he might be working with Russia during a Monday night appearance on Fox News.
The FBI had “no basis” to spy on him, said Page, who accused the bureau of violating his civil rights.
“It was just shredded – the Constitution,” Page said Tuesday.
The New York Times has requested the materials used to secure the FISA warrant, which Page believes will vindicate him.
“I hope they get it,” he said, adding he’s unsure what they might show. “What I have seen thus far is complete ridiculousness.”