Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page claimed in 2013 “to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin,” Time Magazine reported Saturday evening.
The magazine, citing an unnamed editor who worked with Page, said the former Trump adviser had mentioned the credential in a letter to an unnamed academic press “during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication.” The letter was dated Aug. 25, 2013, Time reported.
“Over the past half year,” Page wrote, “I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor 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.”
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Community, alleged in the memo that the FBI and Justice Department had improperly used a document paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC — through a law firm that hired a research firm — to support their warrant application.
The actual memo, distilled to four pages from a much longer application and multiple warrant renewals, did not support Republicans’ claims of impropriety.
Page celebrated committee Republicans’ “brave and assiduous oversight” following the memo’s release and told Time that, for the first nine months of 2013 he “sat in on and contributed to a few roundtable discussion with people from around the world.”
He told the magazine that the meetings started with a Russian representative who was in New York for the United Nations. Page also shared an April 15, 2013 briefing paper on Russia’s G-20 priorities authored by Ksenia Yudaeva, who would shortly become the first deputy governor and director of Russia’s central bank.
Page said he had additional meetings, calling them “really plain-vanilla stuff” and adding: “Does that make me an evil villain, as some of your sources would like to have you think?”
The publication noted a previously reported warrant for surveillance of Page issued by a FISA court in 2013.
“He wanted to make the argument that we needed to look more positively at Russia’s economic reforms and Russia’s relationship with Central Asia,” the unnamed editor who corresponded with Page told Time, saying he came to know Page as a “kook.”
“I didn’t think it was so weird,” the editor added, “it was just contradictory to most mainstream Russian specialist’s views.”
This post has been updated.