Carter Page: I Never Even Briefed Donald Trump
He was one of the first foreign policy aides that candidate Trump ever named. Now Carter Page says he never even briefed the Donald.
Carter Page won’t give it up.
Despite being at the center of multiple investigations into possible ties between the Trump Tower and the Kremlin, the former Trump adviser continues to advocate for Russia-U.S. detente and criticize what he considers as the politically-motivated circumstances that have made him a target of these probes.
In a late-night, 1,000 word statement sent unprompted to The Daily Beast, Page castigated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, while celebrating President Trump’s first 100 days in office.
“All rhetoric and posturing aside, the new Administration’s first hundred days displayed enormous restraint and showed solid progress amidst world class political obstacles and the desperate, unabated lies of sore losers,” Page said. “As the truth continues to leak out, the second hundred days should now offer new prospects and real hope for America.”
Page also sheds some light on his relationship with Donald Trump. Trump and his team has repeatedly downplayed that connection—even though Trump named him early on as a campaign adviser. .
In a previous letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Page said he had “spent many hours in campaign headquarters on the fifth floor [of Trump Tower] last year.” But Page says despite his time in the campaign’s headquarters, he's never 'briefed' the now-president .
“In retrospect and with the 1984-inspired governance standards employed in 2016, I consider it fortunate that I never briefed Mr. Trump,” Page said. “Given our respective, perceived ‘thought crimes’ in questioning last year’s ruling party, it is indubitable that Big Brother would not have approved and likely would have clamped down even harder.”
Last month The Washington Post reported that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to monitor Carter Page. He has painted Page has painted himself as a target of the American government, claiming to be a "dissident" who is the victim of civil rights abuses. He has even compared his U.S.-Russia advocacy and suffering to that of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Raging against “the new Cold War’s secret police state” — the title of his statement to The Daily Beast — Page continues this train of thought.
“The Obama Administration has used the term ‘JV team’ to describe actors in the national security sector,” Page wrote, a reference to Obama’s 2014 description of ISIS. “In contrast to the oppressive steps taken last year, George Orwell’s Thought Police from his book 1984 are the JV team by comparison.”
Page also refers to a recently-published book about the Clinton campaign, Shattered, by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes as evidence that he is the victim of a Clinton-inspired attack – in essence, part of the excuse behind why the Clintons lost the election.
He quotes from the book’s final chapter, which reads:
“[The] strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”
This, the former Trump adviser writes, is just more evidence of the “dishonesty and self-deception which played a key part of the November 2016 Clinton defeat in the first place” and forms the basis for Page’s predicament today — that he is the fall-guy for Clinton’s defeat.
“More recently, the enduring self-preservation impulses of the New Cold Warriors, whose lifeblood is interventionist conflict, mixed with an increasingly prevalent, blame-the-bogeyman, virtual neo-McCarthyist culture, creates a lethal cocktail and a primary roadblock that treacherously hinders national unity and new approaches to national security today,” Page concludes.
Despite the investigative heat that is currently turned upon him, Page has continued issuing statements and making television appearances. Oftentimes these interviews raise more questions than answers, and erode his credibility.
In a CNN interview, he said he had never conveyed to anyone in Russia that Trump might be willing to get rid of sanctions imposed after the invasion of Crimea. Then shortly after he told ABC that he didn't quite remember — "Something may have come up in a conversation. I have no recollection,” he said.
Asked by The Daily Beast why he continues to speak to the press despite being investigated, Page responded, “ because 90 percent of what you read out there on these topics (including your articles, frankly speaking) are misleading and inaccurate. Someone needs to explain reality.”
Page’s latest comments on his perceived persecution is filled with aggressive adjectives and dramatic language: “the last Administration with its anointed and unsuccessful heirs belied their fraudulent words by taking atrocious preemptive actions, to the detriment of core American values,” he writes at one point, about the collapse of the Russia ‘reset’ under the Obama administration.
But he also predicts ultimate vindication, promising “future disclosures” to come that will facilitate better U.S.-Russia relations, a longtime goal of his.