Subject: Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian Officials in 2016
Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian Officials in 2016
4 mins read
WASHINGTON — Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump presidential campaign, met Russian
government officials during a July 2016 trip he took to Moscow, according to testimony he gave on
Thursday to the House Intelligence Committee.
Shortly after the trip, Mr. Page sent an email to at least one Trump campaign aide describing
insights he had after conversations with government officials, legislators and business executives
during his time in Moscow, according to one person familiar with the contents of the message. The
email was read aloud during the closed-door testimony.
The new details of the trip present a different picture than the account Mr.. Page has given during
numerous appearances in the news media in recent months and are yet another example of a Trump
adviser meeting with Russians officials during the 2016 campaign. In multiple interviews with The
New York Times, he had either denied meeting with any Russian government officials during the July
2016 visit or sidestepped the question, saying he met with “mostly scholars.”
Mr. Page confirmed the meetings in an interview on Friday evening, but played down their
“I had a very brief hello to a couple of people. That was it,” he said. He said one of the
people he met was a “senior person,” but would not confirm the person’s identity.
He confirmed that an email he had written to the campaign after that trip to Moscow was presented to
him during Thursday’s appearance before the House Intelligence Committee.
Mr. Page acknowledged his meeting with Russian government officials during sharp questioning by
Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, according to a
congressional official familiar with the exchange.
During another part of the testimony, Mr. Page was questioned about a trip to Budapest, although it
was not immediately clear why. Mr. Page told The Times earlier this year that he had taken that trip
around Labor Day weekend last year, but he said he had not met with any Russians.
“It was a short four-day trip over a long holiday weekend at the end of the summer,” Mr. Page
said at the time. “I had a nice trip up the Danube, to the Visegrad castle, did a lot of
sightseeing and went to a jazz club. Not much to report.”
Court records unsealed on Monday revealed that another campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, met
with Russian officials in 2016 and was offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton in the
form of “thousands of emails.” The court records were released by Robert S. Mueller III, the
special counsel investigating Russian attempts to disrupt the presidential election last year and
whether any of President Trump’s associates helped in that effort.
Mr. Page was questioned by the F.B.I. earlier this year and has also appeared before the grand jury
as part of the special counsel’s inquiry.
The House Intelligence Committee is one of three congressional investigations that are also
examining these issues.
Mr. Page’s trip to Moscow in July 2016 was never a secret, and during the trip, he gave a speech
at a graduation ceremony at the New Economic School, a university there. But the trip was one of the
triggers of a counterintelligence investigation begun by the F.B.I. later that month.
In his talk at the university, Mr. Page criticized American policy toward Russia in terms that
echoed the position of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. “Washington and other Western
capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as
democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change,” Mr. Page said.
His remarks accorded with Mr. Trump’s positive view of the Russian president, which had prompted
speculation about what Mr. Trump saw in Mr. Putin — more commonly denounced in the United States
as a ruthless, anti-Western autocrat.
Mr. Page left the Trump campaign not long after the trip, and since then, Mr. Trump’s advisers
tried to distance the campaign from Mr. Page.
During another trip to Moscow, in December 2016, after Mr. Page had left the Trump campaign, he said
he planned to meet with “business leaders and thought leaders.” At the time, a Kremlin spokesman
said that no government officials planned to meet Mr. Page and that the Kremlin had never had any
contact with him.
“We have learned about this from the press,” the spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told the news
A former Navy officer and Annapolis graduate, Mr. Page was unknown in Washington foreign policy
circles when Mr. Trump announced him as a member of his team of advisers in March 2016.
Mr. Page lived in Moscow from 2004 to 2007 while working as a junior investment banker for Merrill
Mr. Page subsequently started his own investment firm, Global Energy Capital, and teamed up on some
deals with a Russian businessman, Sergey Yatsenko. Mr. Yatsenko had been deputy chief financial
officer for the Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is majority-owned by the government and has
close ties to Mr. Putin.
Mr. Page was wrapped up — but not charged — in an F.B.I. investigation in 2013 that targeted
people suspected of being Russian intelligence officers in New York. One of the of three men who was
later charged with being an unregistered agent of a foreign power had met Mr. Page at an energy
symposium, and was recorded describing him as having dreams of lucrative deals.
Mr. Page had said he did not know the man was an intelligence officer.
In a video of a December 2016 speech he gave in Moscow, Mr. Page told the audience that he had met
with an executive of Rosneft, another major Russian energy company. He said that person was a
His time on the Trump campaign was short, but he has described the experience as particularly
“The half year I spent on the Trump campaign meant more to me than the five years I spent in the
Navy,” he said in an interview earlier this year.
Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting.