A letter obtained by Time magazine reportedly shows that former Trump adviser Carter Page bragged about being an adviser to the Kremlin. The letter raises new questions about Page’s involvement with the Russian government, the magazine reports.
The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press regarding “a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he submitted for publication,” an unnamed editor who reportedly worked with Page told Time.
What does the letter say?
“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal adviser to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter states.
Page is the key figure in the controversy over a memo released Friday by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). The memo said the FBI and Justice Department omitted information in getting court permission to spy on Page. Trump named Page as a campaign adviser in March 2016.
The so-called Nunes memo indicates the FBI request for a surveillance warrant was based on former British spy Christopher Steele, who reportedly built a dossier that was funded in part by Democrats. One criticism is that the FBI and Justice Department should have disclosed Steele's "anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations."
After the memo was declassified, President Donald Trump said it showed “a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves.”
Does the letter prove anything?
Questions still remain over Page’s role with the Russian government, Time noted. Was he truly an informant or just someone who enjoys name-dropping?
The Steele dossier includes details of a trip Page made to Moscow in July 2016 to meet with a senior Kremlin official and a senior Putin ally. Those conversations allegedly included conversations about helping Trump while allegedly hurting Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign and the DNC are named as helping to fund the Steele dossier.
Time reported that the unnamed editor believes Page is not a national security threat.
“I would never have seen him in the center of concern like this, or playing a role or being seen as an intermediary between the Russian government and a political candidate,” the unnamed editor said. “He struck me just as someone who had developed some strange academic views … and wanted to have them published.”
“I just came to see him as a kook,” he also told Time.
Page has not been charged with anything.