Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page admitted that the topic of Russia “may have come up” in emails with campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to charges of making a false statement to the FBI about his contact with Russian government officials.
In an interview on MSNBC, Page, who’s scheduled to testify behind closed doors before a House intelligence committee panel Thursday, said he “might have been” on email threads with Papadopoulos where Russia “may have come up from time to time,” but clarified that “nothing major” was discussed.
Page, who told the Senate intelligence committee in May he had “brief interactions” with low-level Russian officials in 2013, traveled to Moscow in July 2016, shortly after Papadopoulos forwarded a request from Russian officials to meet with Trump or someone in the Trump campaign.
In May, Papadopoulos had sent an email to a “high-ranking campaign official” with the subject line “Request from Russia to meet Mr. Trump.” The email said Russian officials were eager to meet with the candidate and had been reaching out.
However, Page rebuffed the idea that he met with Russian officials during his July trip in his capacity as a campaign adviser, telling Hayes that his trip was separate from his campaign role.
“I definitely did not represent anyone from the Trump campaign during my trip,” and “was always there just as a private citizen,” he said.
Page also said that, during his time in Moscow, he “had no meetings, no serious discussions with anyone high up or at any official capacity,” and that he “knew nothing” about Papadopoulos’s attempt to set up a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
In the interview, Page also tried to downplay any contact he had with Papadopoulos, noting “there were tons of emails happening on a lot of different things” during his time with the campaign, but that he “definitely didn’t hear anything” on Russian attempts to hack emails from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Page also shrugged off questions on if he’s sought legal counsel, saying, “I’m very, very open and happy to give all the information I can in the interest of really getting the truth out there,” adding: “I think the truth will set a lot of people free.”