Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign whose visit to Moscow during the election has drawn scrutiny, sent an email to fellow Trump aides during his trip describing "a private conversation" with a senior Russian official who spoke favorably of the Republican candidate, according to records released late Monday by congressional investigators.
"I'll send you guys a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I've received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential administration here", the former adviser, Carter Page, wrote in a July 8, 2016, email to campaign staff members after he spoke with Arkady Dvorkovich, the deputy prime minister.
When asked if he had a private meeting with Dvorkovich on that second trip, Page replied: "We did - he stopped by a dinner I went to in December with people from the university".
Other campaign officials, including the current US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and a former co-chairman of the Trump campaign, Sam Clovis, were also told of the trip, according to Page.
It's always been known that Page traveled to Moscow in July 2016, but he has said it was in his private capacity, unrelated to his role with the Trump campaign.
In numerous public interviews, Page has always denied he met with other Russian officials, notably with Igor Sechin, a Putin associate. Page testified he told Sessions about the July 2016 Moscow trip, it has been previously reported.
And while we're all still scrutinizing the transcript for additional details of note, Business Insider's report added that in mid-July 2016, Page also congratulated members of the Trump campaign's foreign policy team on July 14 for their "excellent work" on the "Ukraine amendment" - referring to the Trump campaign's quiet decision to alter the Republican Party's national platform on USA policy towards Ukraine in a direction Russian Federation preferred.
He has denied meeting with Sechin while there, but agrees it would have been "a great honor". "I forget the exact date, but it was the Thursday night before I flew to Moscow to give my speech". Page then traveled back to Russian Federation after Election Day past year.
In addition, special counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a criminal probe of the Russian meddling in the campaign and whether Trump obstructed justice by firing James Comey, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, when he was heading the agency's Russia investigation before Mueller, over Trump's objections, was appointed to take over the probe.
The House panel's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, cited a memo Page sent campaign officials that quoted Page as writing "in a private conversation, Dvorkovich expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current global problems".
At one point in the lead-up to the trip, however, Page pitched to campaign affiliates that Trump go in his place to Russian Federation. "It's important to remember that Carter Page and George Papadopoulos were peripheral members of a relatively peripheral advisory committee", he said.
Questioned by the committee, Page again denied meeting Sechin - but acknowledged he had met with other officials who work for Rosneft, the company Sechin leads, including the head of investor relations. It was on that trip that he met with the Russian officials. Now, George, page still insists it of a brief interaction and says he learned about the Russian deputy prime minister's views through media coverage and his public remarks.
Trump has said he does not recall ever speaking to Page. The Russia collusion reached the highest levels of the campaign, and the White House is trying to cover-up the facts.