This is an embarrassing level of badly played dodge. Former Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page
“Carter Page tells me he can’t guarantee he did not discuss easing of sanctions w Russian contacts; ‘Let’s see what the FISA transcripts say,’” ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos wrote after interviewing Page for Good Morning Today.
Carter Page tells me he can't guarantee he did not discuss easing of sanctions w Russian contacts; “Let’s see what the FISA transcripts say”
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) April 13, 2017
Asked if any of his conversations with Russians had to do with lifting the sanctions imposed on Russia by then President Barack Obama, Page said, “I don’t recall every single word I ever said. Something may have come up in a conversation. I have no recollection, and there’s nothing specifically that I would have done that would have given people that impression.”
“Someone may have brought it up. And if it was, it was not something I was offering or that someone was asking for… We’ll see what comes out in this FISA transcript.”
So that’s a yes lifting sanctions might have come up but how can you expect him to remember everything he’s ever said, especially if it involved undermining the sitting U.S. President with a foreign power. At any rate, he’ll wait to see what they have on him before confirming specifics.
Here’s Carter Page on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes in early March, denying categorically (albeit with a frozen smile/sneer and a lot of eye contact dodging, as noted by Chris Sampson, the co-author of Hacking ISIS with Malcom Nance) that there were any back channel conversations with Russia during the campaign.
— Chris Sampson (@TAPSTRIMEDIA) March 3, 2017
In that clip, Page went right for the Republican talking point of blaming Obama/Clinton for collusion after looking down at the desk during his denial that he had anything to do with the contacts with Russia.
To be the subject of a FISA warrant, the judge must find there is probable cause that Carter was working as an agent of Russia while he was advising Donald Trump in his run for the presidency. He has not been accused of any crimes from this surveillance. The 90-day warrant was renewed more than once.
Page lived in Moscow for three years and “started his own investment firm, Global Energy Capital, with former Gazprom executive Sergei Yatsenko,” according to an in depth report on Page from ABC News.
Page wouldn’t tell Stephanopoulos who brought him on to the Trump campaign. He claimed he if told who brought him in to the campaign, there would be dozens of calls to that individual.
Page rolled out the usual Trump Republican references to conspiracy theories and the Obama administration being out to get them, but these sad, empty tropes won’t save him if he betrayed his country. They won’t save him even if he didn’t, because this is a different show than these characters thought they were on.
This isn’t the New York mob big money buys you off crowd. In this crowd, these guys are nothing. The Intelligence Community has more power than these guys do, because of the free press. And that’s exactly why Trump et al keep undermining Americans’ confidence in the press.
The press and the intelligence community are the only patriots left in this scenario, as Republicans sold out to Trump and his Russian help and have shown very little interest or even concern over the fact that the Russians interfered in our election.
Image: ABC Good Morning America screen grab
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.