Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page met with an undercover Russian spy in 2013 and gave him documents, Page confirmed to BuzzFeed News. The Russian intelligence operative Victor Podobnyy was charged in the United States in January 2015 with acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. In his charging documents, Podobnyy is quoted as discussing his efforts to recruit Page, who is referred to as “Male-1” throughout the document. Page confirmed to BuzzFeed that he was Male-1. “[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 is quoted as saying in the charging document. “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.”
The complaint alleges that Podobnyy met Page at an energy conference in January 2013 and that Page then met with Podobnyy and sent him documents on U.S. energy business through June of that year. Page works in the energy industry and previously denied having had any communications with Russian officials that would have broken the law. Page told BuzzFeed that none of the documents he shared with Podobnyy were sensitive. Podobnyy was charged in absentia, but removed from the U.S. under diplomatic-immunity rules before he could stand trial. Another Russian intelligence officer charged in the same filing pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as a foreign agent and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
The Trump adminstration has attempted to distance itself from Page, who left the campaign after it was revealed that federal authorities were investigating his ties to Russia. Page was also named in a dossier compiled by a former U.K. intelligence officer, which claimed to describe a compromised relationship between Trump and the Russian government.