ABC News reports today that Carter Page’s admissions on his connections to Russian officials before, during and after the Trump campaign seem to be growing with every round he does on the talk show circuit.
Initially, Mr. Page denied the “conspiracy theory” rumors about his personal involvement with Russian officials. However, as pressure grew from numerous media outlets due to persistent reports of Page’s direct involvement indicated in leaked information, his story expanded. The first crack came during and interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, followed by another disastrous interview with Anderson Cooper of CNN.
Today’s reports reflect even further admissions of possible guilt on Mr. Page’s part. At every evolutionary stage of Mr. Page’s story, he has always maintained his position that nothing of major importance nor of security concern had been discussed.
The latest reports by ABC News now implicate Mr. Page as having conversations with specific regard to the lifting of Russian sanctions. Despite his previous denials to the contrary, this issue in particular has been at the core of concern for members of Congress and the security community.
During an interview with George Stephanopolous of ABC News, Page was pressed on whether in any of these conversations he discussed a possible lifting of U.S. sanctions against Russia, Page said he wasn’t sure.
“I don’t recall every single word I ever said,” Page 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,” he continued. “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,” he said.
This is in direct contrast to Page’s statements when initially quoted in the New York Times as these allegations being a “witch hunt.” After denying having met with any foreign officials from Russia, it was reported that Mr. Page in fact gave paid lectures in Russia, although he insisted he traveled as a private individual. Later it was revealed that Mr. Page sought permission from the Trump Campaign Adviser at the time, Corey Lewandowski.
Then, the sequence of events during the MSNBC and CNN interviews to follow, the story seemed to expand every time Carter Page spoke. Were it not for the deluge of news coming from the chaotic Trump Administration, this issue, linking to many other broad issues regarding Russian interference and overshadowing of the 2016 U.S. elections, would be a top story. However, after the missile strikes in Syria, the hasty confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, a pivotal link in the Trump/Russia issues continues to grow.
As of today, Mr. Page continues to deny any wrongdoing.
As per ABC News and the Washington Posts reports, the White House and the FBI have declined to comment. We are aware that the investigation into the Trump campaign and those in advisory roles with any exposure to Russian interference or influence remains underway, in a statement by FBI Director James Comey to lawmakers today.