Carter Page, who advised President Donald Trump’s campaign on foreign policy, met with and passed documents to a Russian intelligence operative in 2013, according to a report published Monday by BuzzFeed.
In 2013, at least three years before his association with Trump’s campaign, Page met with a Russian intelligence operative named Victor Podobnyy in New York City, according to the report.
Page confirmed to BuzzFeed that he is the person identified as “Male-1” in a court filing by the U.S. government which contains a transcript of Podobnyy and a colleague, Igor Sporyshev, discussing the possible recruitment of “Male-1.”
According to the filing, Page provided Podobnyy with documents “about the energy business.”
Podobnyy and Sporyshev were charged in 2015 with aiding and abetting a colleague, Evgeny Buryakov, who was charged with acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. The three men were also charged with conspiracy.
Page last week denied doing anything “that could even be possibly viewed” as helping Russia influence the 2016 election in President Donald Trump’s favor.
“I think it’s about dirty politics,” he said.
In a letter to the House Intelligence Committee’s chair and ranking member earlier in March, Page wrote that he would “eagerly welcome the chance to speak with the Committee” regarding its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The court filing includes a colorful transcript of Podobnyy speaking with Sporyshev about trying to recruit Page.
“[Male-1] wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back. I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am…He got hooked on Gazprom thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up,” Podobnyy said. “I also promised him a lot…this is intelligence method to cheat, how else to work with foreigners? You promise a favor for a favor. You get the documents from him and tell him to go fuck himself.”
Page confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Monday that he is “Male-1” in the court filing, and said he had been in contact with Podobnyy, who was working at the time at Moscow’s UN office in New York City under diplomatic cover, although he was really an SVR agent. Pressed on details of his contact with Podobnyy, Page said their interactions did not include anything sensitive.