Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign, told a Moscow audience on Monday that Trump’s nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state could be great for United States-Russia relations.
Page said that members of Trump’s administration like Tillerson have “great enthusiasm” for improving the U.S. relationship with Russia, according to the Huffington Post.
Page made the remarks during a presentation to the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, which is owned by the Russian government. The speech was streamed live on the Kremlin-backed Russia Today. During his speech, Page laid out how Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin could strengthen the relationship between their two countries.
“Talking with a number of colleagues and thought leaders in recent days, I think there’s a huge potential and a lot of specific ways we’ve been talking about, to help support both administrations,” he said, according to the Huffington Post.
Page also gave a speech in August criticizing U.S. policy toward Russia.
He left the Trump campaign in September, following a report that U.S. intelligence officials were investigating whether he had met with Russians aligned with the Kremlin. Page denied that he had.
During his Monday presentation, Page praised Tillerson and touted the Exxon CEO’s ties to Russia.
“I’m really personally excited about Rex Tillerson,” he said, according to the Huffington Post. “Being awarded the [Russian] Order of Friendship, his [oil drilling] ventures in the Kara Sea and Black Sea, I mean the list goes on and on.”