President Trump’s former foreign policy adviser Carter Page met with Russian government officials during a July 2016 trip to Moscow, as new details emerge one day after he called the trip “as irrelevant then as it is now.”
Page, who flew to Russia during the presidential campaign, sent an email to at least one Trump aide after he spoke with government officials, lawmakers and business executives in Moscow, according to a source who spoke to the New York Times.
He has previously denied meeting with any Russian government officials during the trip. Just yesterday, Page said he traveled to Moscow to deliver a speech and that the trip was “completely unrelated to my limited volunteer role with the campaign.”
On Friday, Page confirmed he met a “senior person” in Russia, although he downplayed the encounter, telling The Times, “I had a very brief hello to a couple of people. That was it.”
During a six-hour testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, Page claimed he mentioned the Moscow trip in passing to Jeff Sessions during a group dinner in Washington.
Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos also admitted he told Sessions at a March 2016 meeting he had made contacts with Russians who said they could set up a meeting between Trump and President Vladimir Putin.
Sessions, who recused himself after failing to disclose two meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, previously told Senate he did not know of anyone from the Trump campaign who made contact with Russians during the elections.
After Page’s testimony, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) of the Judiciary Committee, told The Times, “[Sessions] now needs to come back before the committee, in person, under oath, to explain why he cannot seem to provide truthful, complete answers to these important and relevant questions.”
Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, is now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigates possible coordination between Russia and Trump’s 2016 White House campaign.
News of Papadopoulos’ plea broke the same day former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted on money laundering and conspiracy along with business associate Rick Gates, who also had a role in the campaign.