- Former foreign policy advisor Carter Page met with Russian government officials in 2016.
- Page previously denied meeting with Russian government officials, and said that he had met with “mostly scholars.”
A foreign policy advisor to President Donald Trump’s campaign said he met with Russian government officials in July 2016, contradicting earlier claims that he met with academic scholars and business leaders, the New York Times reported Friday.
Carter Page testified in a closed-door House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday and described an email he sent to a Trump campaign aide on his conversations with government officials and business executives in Moscow, according to The Times.
Page also confirmed the meetings to The Times on Friday.
“I had a very brief hello to a couple of people,” Page said. “That was it.”
Page previously denied meeting with Russian government officials to The Times; and said in a seperate CNN report that he met with academic scholars and business leaders. Page also noted that he was not in Russia as an emissary of Trump’s campaign for his trip.
Despite his denial to The Times, Page told Washington Post’s Josh Rogin that he had in fact briefly met and shook hands with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who also attended an event he was at. The Post’s story published in September 2016.
But the trip raised eyebrows among US officials, who believed that Russian operatives tried to use Page to influence Trump’s campaign. Multiple US officials said in CNN’s report that Page was one of several Trump advisers who were discovered to have been in contact with Russian officials.
As special counsel Robert Mueller continues his Russia probe, several of Trump’s surrogates have come under scrutiny for their ties to Russia, including former campaign chair, Paul Manafort. Manafort was indicted on Monday for conspiracy against the US, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, and making false statements.