Carter Page Told Jeff Sessions About Russia Trip Three Days Before He Left: report
According to a newly released transcript of Carter Page’s interview with the House Intelligence Committee last week, the former Trump’s campaign advisor informed Jeff Sessions about his July 2016 trip to Moscow three days before he left.
House lawmakers questioned Page behind closed doors for nearly eight hours on Thursday. During the hearing, paged detailed his interactions with Sessions, then a Republican senator from Alabama, and told the lawmakers that he mentioned the trip to Sessions “in passing” at a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club three days before he left for Moscow to deliver a speech at the New Economic School.
“I mentioned it briefly to Senator Sessions as I was walking out the door,” Page said, the transcript reads, CNN reports.
According to the transcript, Page said that J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon official and national security adviser to the Trump campaign, was the first campaign official to know about the Moscow trip prior to his departure.
In a statement to The Hill Monday night, Gordon said that he discouraged Page from taking the trip.
“I discouraged Carter from taking the trip to Moscow in the first place because it was a bad idea,” Gordon said. “Since I refused to forward his speech request form for approval, he eventually went around me directly to campaign leadership.”
Page, an energy industry consultant, has attracted particular scrutiny for the 2016 trip and his prior contacts with Russians. He was among a group of five foreign policy advisers that Trump unveiled at a March 2016 meeting with the Washington Post editorial board. That group also included George Papadopoulos, a volunteer who has become a flashpoint in the Russia controversy since special counsel Robert Mueller revealed that he lied to FBI agents about his Russian contacts during the campaign.
Gordon described Page and Papadopoulos as volunteers and “peripheral members of a relatively peripheral advisory committee.”
Page disclosed that Papadopoulos was at the dinner during which he told Sessions about his trip to Moscow.