‘A Brief Hello’ With A ‘Senior’ Russian: Carter Page The Masochistic ‘Genius’

Maybe Carter Page is brilliant. Or maybe Carter Page is a masochist. Or maybe Carter Page is a complete idiot.

As far as I can tell, those are the only three plausible explanations for how the former Trump campaign adviser (who, you’re reminded, worked in Merrill Lynch’s Moscow office from 2004 to 2007) is behaving in the face of an increasingly aggressive probe into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Kremlin.

I suppose it’s possible that Page’s penchant for lying on national television and bragging about not having a lawyer is part of some calculating strategy the purpose of which is as yet unknowable to the public. But until such a time as the rest of us can discern why it is he’s willingly implicating himself in a treasonous plot to undercut America’s democratic process, we’re all left to shake our heads in incredulity at what by outward appearances looks like Page actively trying to get himself indicted.

If you haven’t seen this clip, do yourself a favor and watch it – note the end where Hayes says “I genuinely hope Carter, that you are innocent of everything because you’re doing a lot of talking”:

I mean, it’s hard to fathom why someone would admit, on national television, that he was on e-mail chains about Russia with a man who has now pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about those same e-mail chains.

 

But again, maybe that’s the “genius” of Carter Page.

Well, earlier this week, during some seven hours of closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Page confessed (or actually, I guess “volunteered” is the better word here) that he told Jeff Sessions about a trip he was taking to Russia during the campaign. That cast further doubt on the Attorney General’s sworn testimony to Congress and has led top Democrats including (of course) Sen. Al Franken, to all but suggest Sessions has perjured himself.

“I don’t think he told me the truth,” Franken told ABC earlier this week, adding that “I think that on different occasions he either has a terrible memory or he is deliberately not telling me the truth.” Here’s how we put it on Thursday:

And while I suppose it’s plausible that Sessions might have honestly forgotten, it certainly seems like Jeff can’t remember much of anything. The list of conversations he had about Russia that he no longer recalls seems to be growing all the time. One explanation is that he really doesn’t remember them. Another, far more plausible explanation under the circumstances, is that he’s going to just lie until someone corners him on it.

For his part, here’s how Carter Page described the trip to Moscow that he now says Sessions was made aware of:

Back in June 2016, I mentioned in passing that I happened to be planning to give a speech at a university in Moscow. Completely unrelated to my limited volunteer role with the campaign and as I’ve done dozens of times throughout my life. Understandably, it was as irrelevant then as it is now. If it weren’t for the dodgy dossier and all the chaos that those complete lies had created, my passing comment’s complete lack of relevance should go without saying.

Ok, now just listen to Page’s cringe-worthy, nationally televised account of his interaction with Sessions:

If you are a lawyer, I’m sorry I subjected you to that because it was undoubtedly hard for you to sit through. It boggles the mind that Page would go out on a limb like that and now, it appears that he was actually lying (or at least downplaying) that trip to Moscow in his comments to CNN.

Because as The New York Times reported on Friday evening, Page “met Russian government officials during a July 2016 trip he took to Moscow.” And the hilarious thing about that revelation is that it’s according to the very same testimony that he’s referring to in the clip shown above. So he’s volunteering to misrepresent testimony he just gave, and he’s doing that live, on national television, to an unfriendly media outlet in CNN.

But it gets worse. Here’s the Times:

Shortly after the trip, Mr. Page sent an email to at least one Trump campaign aide describing insights he had after conversations with government officials, legislators and business executives during his time in Moscow, according to one person familiar with the contents of the message. The email was read aloud during the closed-door testimony.

So now, this trip to Moscow which Page informed Jeff Sessions about and which Page just got done saying had nothing to do with the campaign, was later described by Page in an e-mail to another Trump campaign aide and in that e-mail, Page talked about meeting Russian government officials.

As The Times reminds you, that trip wasn’t a secret, but it was “one of the triggers of a counterintelligence investigation begun by the F.B.I. later that month.”

Of course Page is still hell-bent on talking about things he shouldn’t be talking about. In what the Times describes as “a brief interview on Friday night,” Page said this about his conversations with Russian government officials during the trip in question:

I had a very brief hello to a couple of people. That was it. [One of the people] was a senior person.

And see why do this to yourself, Carter?

Because you know everyone has the e-mails. There are probably dozens upon dozens of lawmakers and investigators on Mueller’s team who know exactly what it is that Page said about those contacts in correspondence to other Trump campaign aides, and you’ve got to think one of the people he might have e-mailed is George Papadopoulos who has been flipped by Mueller.

But Carter is apparently going to keep it up with the masochism and as Josh Barro notes, maybe “the joke is actually on all of us”…

 

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8 thoughts on “‘A Brief Hello’ With A ‘Senior’ Russian: Carter Page The Masochistic ‘Genius’

  1. A read of the Wikipedia* entry on Cater Page immediately discloses that he’s in a competition with Trump as to who loves Putin more!! For decades, he’s been a lover of all things Russia, Putin and a Russian apologist. This will tell you all you need to know:

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    “In September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials investigated alleged contacts between Page and Russian officials subject to U.S. sanctions, including Igor Sechin.[4] Page rejected the accusations and stepped down from his role in the Trump campaign.[1][27]

    “Shortly afterwards the Federal Bureau of Investigation successfully obtained a warrant from the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveil Page’s communications.[28] To issue the warrant, a federal judge concluded there was probable cause to believe the FBI’s declarations that Page was a foreign agent knowingly engaging in clandestine intelligence for the Russian government. Page was the only American who was directly targeted with a FISA warrant in 2016 as part of the Russia probe. The 90-day warrant was repeatedly renewed.[29]

    “In January 2017, Page’s name appeared repeatedly in a leaked Donald Trump–Russia dossier containing contract intelligence from former British Intelligence operative Christopher Steele. The dossier contained unsubstantiated allegations of close interactions between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.[30][31][32][33] In January 2017, Page was under investigation by the FBI, CIA, NSA, ODNI, and FinCEN. He has denied wrongdoing.[34]”

    ======

    In the wiki entry, Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer recalled on his Twitter feed that Carter Page, who once worked at Eurasia, had a strong pro-Russian stance, was “not a good fit” for the firm, and that Page was its “most wackadoodle” alumnus.

    My guess is Page’s decision to blabber on national media was motivated by his quest to be noticed by his hero, Vladimir Putin, after calculating that, as long he tells the truth (as he sees) to the FBI, congressional committees and its staff he’s in no legal jeopardy. Why? The way he describes it all he did was meet with Russians, which is something he’s been doing for years before Trump’s campaign and those meetings had nothing to do with interfering with the election. Of course, if his emails, mail, texts or phone calls demonstrate to the contrary, he’ll be watching Vladimir on CNN International on the same TV at the expense of the Federal Bureau of Prisons for years.

    *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_Page

  2. I read that DOSSIER so long ago and I even made a short list of notes, references to page numbers etc on certain events and mention of people’s names. I lost count of how many times I saw Carter Page’s name. He was tied into many important events! So, I read all 35 pages again this morning with my coffee.

    Amazing how many other things I read that are more important now that we have heard so much about the Russian investigation – so I encourage you to read it again too. This copy has highlighted areas but I did not mark them – I do not know who marked it – but do not only read those highlighted areas – tons of interesting info is not highlighted. Funny, at this moment, my TV is on and trump just commented he was not involved in any collusion with Russia. hahahaha timing is incredible!

    BTW, one person I have not heard mentioned in all the news is trump’s good friend and lawyer, Michael Cohen. He is discussed a bunch in this dossier in terms that he was cooperative and his connection could be easily concealed since he is married to a woman of Russian descent. From my notes, pg 18-19,28-29, 30-35. I would assume with his relationship as long time lawyer for trump, he is pretty much untouchable, but I don’t know how that would hold up if for instance there was a case of treason. And of course we have no way of knowing at this time how truthful and reliable this dossier is.

    There are certainly many mentions of Manafort’s name and some with Michael Flynn’s as well. I had a new laugh reading how a minion of Putin’s was convinced “kick-backs” (word from dossier) paid to Manafort from Russia were well hidden and could not be traced — Putin was not convinced that would be true and I believe he ‘replaced’ that minion with another but the “kick-backs” had already been paid.

    Oh, and for those that just wanna know about the salacious sex stuff, see page 27.

    Pasted here from Google:
    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html

    • This appears to be a document that originated prior to the US general election of 2016. It also appears to be a document that could have been created by any number of skilled screen or fiction writers – regardless of those by/for whom it is purported to have been written.

      I am not saying it is fake or inaccurate, in fact I don’t doubt it could all be true. However, there is a huge hole in the authenticity of this document and that is its very existence. Presumably, this document was in the possession of someone associated with the DNC ahead of the general election, including members of the Clinton campaign. We also know that the “shoe-in” nature of Clinton’s lead was decaying in the days and even weeks ahead of the election and there were some apparently damaging bombshells related to Clinton that came up just ahead of the election. We also know that during the campaign Trump’s anti-Clinton rhetoric and name calling were disgusting and outrageous.

      Under those circumstances, given what was at stake, and given the voracious ambition of Clinton, someone needs to explain why in the world this document was not thrown on the table and exposed to the world by those who controlled it. If that cannot be answered, the authenticity of the document is questionable at least.

      This, of course, leads to the final issue. If anyone in a responsible position within the DNC had possession of this document and if they believed it to be authentic, then they are guilty of negligence, at least, for not having released it. Anyone with an ounce of sense knew at the time that a Trump presidency would be damaging and possibly destructive. To withhold this information, if deemed authentic, from the voters ahead of the election constituted a moral crime that is on par with whatever are Trump’s actual crimes.

  3. It was said that the FBI had information about the dossier perhaps as early as July/August 2016, maybe even May/June 2016. Additionally, our government knew Mr. Steele and trusted him as you will read in the article below, they referred to him as “credible”, “their highest praise.” Only the FBI can answer Frank’s question about why someone did not expose it sooner than when we all heard about it along with the rest of the world in January 2017. To be honest, I think Mueller is in a position to investigate even better.

    This article lends some support to the validity of the data. It may not be possible to prove certain dossier entries but common sense reigns when a large and important amount of data is proven. There are facts contained in the dossier that could not have been known in January 2017, to support a theory that this dossier was later compiled to implicate trump. You know, if trump even confessed to guilt, there would still be people who refuse to accept it!!

    In addition to the WaPo article Marty has pasted and this BBC article, I will guarantee you that Mueller’s investigation is way ahead and knows exactly what is true and is in the process of getting their ducks in a row. Quack. Quack.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39435786
    This is a lengthy article, please read until you cannot scroll any further.

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