Published: Wed, November 08, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Schiff: 'Our democracy is under threat' from Trump, Russia

Schiff: 'Our democracy is under threat' from Trump, Russia

During many public appearances prior to his November 2, 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in open session, Carter Page characterized his July 2016 trip to Russia as a private one in which his interactions with Russian individuals were largely confined to the 'man on the street.' In his testimony, however, he was forced to acknowledge that he communicated with high level Russian officials while in Moscow, including one of Russia's Deputy Prime Ministers.

That contradicts what Lewandowski himself has claimed, having told USA Today last March that he granted "nobody" permission to travel to Russian Federation.

Former Trump adviser Carter Page's testimony to Congress evolved into a sprawling exchange with lawmakers that now stretches for more than 200 pages, but in between convoluted answers it provided critical insights in the Russian Federation investigation.

Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump as he ran for president past year, told campaign aides he had gained "incredible insights" from Russian lawmakers and "senior members" of President Vladimir Putin's administration when he made a trip to Moscow in the midst of the USA election. Sessions was also among those on Team Trump who was notified of Page's July 2016 Moscow trip. Reporter: We now know the official he was referring to was actually the Russian deputy prime minister at the time page wrote that he, quote, ex??ressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to a vast range of current worldwide problems.

His testimony Thursday also contradicted previous comments by Jeff Sessions, now US attorney general in the Trump administration, who was a top Trump campaign surrogate in 2016.

Page, in his testimony, again stressed that the trip was understood to be separate from the campaign and said that he mentioned it to Sessions in the context of "discussing your travel schedule".

Schiff said the committee looks forward to Page's "continued cooperation" with its investigation.

For months, Page has denied meeting with Russian government officials while in Moscow.

"The idea there was bearing in mind Barack Obama's speech as a candidate in Germany 2008", Page told House Intel of the May 2016 email he sent to Gordon and to fellow foreign policy adviser Walid Phares.

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"I think we're all going to be held to account one day for what we did when our democracy is under threat", Schiff said.

Other campaign officials, including the current USA attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and a former co-chairman of the Trump campaign, Sam Clovis, were also told of the trip, according to Page.

Page previous sued media outlets in Manhattan federal court over their use of the dossier for reports, and told lawmakers that he wanted to set the record straight.

Page played down those comments, telling Schiff that his insights were drawn from listening to Dvorkovich's speech and public statements, and from reading the Russian press and watching Russian television.

"I hadn't watched Russian TV for many years, but watching Russian TV in my few days in Moscow there", Page said.

Perhaps most important, Schiff said, Page "detailed his meetings with Russian government officials and others, and said that they provided him with insights and outreach that he was interested in sharing with the campaign".

A USA intelligence source claimed in September 2016 that Page met with Sechin, who raised the issue of lifting those sanctions after the election. It was on that trip that he met with the Russian officials. When reporters began asking around a year ago about his Moscow trip, campaign officials stressed he had no formal role in the campaign.

Page, in his testimony, called himself "the biggest embarrassment surrounding the campaign" and described the firestorm that arose out of the Russian-related allegations against him as "the darkest of the dark clouds over my head".

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