Carter Page, who briefly served as a foreign policy adviser in President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, and whose links with Russia have come into question in recent months, said Wednesday that he “was not a substantial part of the campaign.”
Page made the comments in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, in which he was also quizzed on the many conflicting accounts of his closeness to Trump and key operatives of the Republican presidential campaign, as well as how he represented his role within the campaign to U.S. and Russian media respectively. Trump has said that he has never met Page, while Page has stated that he had been in meetings with the future President.
Page and the extent of his involvement in the Trump campaign came under scrutiny during an ongoing probe into potential connections Trump’s associates may have had with Russia, as well as any influence Moscow may have exerted.
Cooper pressed the former investment banker on whether he had brought up proposals to ease economic sanctions against Moscow with others in the campaign.
“I don’t talk about internal discussions or things that may have been confidential internally,” Page said, adding that there was “no specific conversation that I can recall” on the issue.
Earlier in the interview, when asked if he had discussed the issue during a three-day visit to Moscow, Page told Cooper that such conversations “is like talking about the weather” in Russia.
“But I did not talk about changing the weather, let’s just put it that way,” he added, before telling Cooper that he had “no recollection” of specific conversations.
“In all instances, I told everyone that I was not there representing the Trump campaign,” he said.
Last month, the Washington Post reported that the FBI and the Department of Justice had obtained a secret court authorization to monitor Page’s communications, saying there was reason to believe he may have been acting as a Russian agent.