The release of a controversial memo from Devin Nunes has divided politicians in the United States, with those on the right claiming the document contains information that invalidates the ongoing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and those on the left decrying the gesture as a disingenuous and strategic ploy with the purpose of undermining the F.B.I. One of the key players in this controversy is American oil industry consultant and a former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump, Carter Page. Now, documents reveal that Page had bragged about his involvement with the Kremlin many years before the first probes into Russia's influence on the election.
According to The Huffington Post, a 2013 letter to an academic publication shows Page openly discussing his associations to the Russian government.
“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their presidency of the G-20 Summit next month,” Page wrote in the letter.
Page's statements here directly contradict assertions made in the Nunes memo, which claimed that Page had been the subject of an investigation after a biased inquest on the part of Democrats in the hopes of discrediting Trump.
Reports indicate that Page had raised suspicions at the F.B.I. long before the election cycle began, noting his meetings with Russian diplomat Victor Podobny, who was later charged with working as a Russian intelligence agent under diplomatic cover. (Podobny, who has since returned to Russia, had described Page as an “idiot" in meetings.)
A transcript of a meeting with Podobny shows the diplomat discussing “empty promises” about “connections in the [Russian] Trade Representation.”
Page's verbose and unguarded interviews on television have repeatedly stunned pundits.
Meawhile, President Trump spent the morning tweeting about the fallout from the Nunes memo.
Trump has not offered a comment on Carter Page. Cryptically alluding to the situation Trump had said “a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves," at a conference.
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