Despite all the controversy swirling around him, former Trump adviser Carter Page continues to advocate for a closer relationship between Russia and the United States.
Page appears undaunted by the attention paid to him by the House Intelligence Committee, where he was called out by Democrats in an open hearing; by his status as a person of interest to the Senate Intelligence Committee; and by a Buzzfeed article which revealed that Page had passed documents to a Russian intelligence agent in New York in 2013.
Not even a Washington Post article Tuesday evening, which revealed that the FBI had sought and obtained a secret court order to monitor his communications, has driven Page into silence. To obtain the order, the FBI would have needed to show probable cause that Page was an agent for a foreign power or in some way engaged in a clandestine intelligence activity.
Page merely took the latest revelations as evidence that he has been the victim of the American government’s efforts to silence him. He was defiant, framing himself as a “dissident” whose support for closer U.S.-Russia ties had made him a target and a victim.
“I was so happy to hear that further confirmation is now being revealed. It shows how low the Clinton/Obama regime went to destroy our democracy and suppress dissidents who did not fully support their failed foreign policy,” Page told The Daily Beast on Tuesday evening, in a series of texts. “It will be interesting to see what comes out when the unjustified basis for those FISA requests [[from the FBI]] are more fully disclosed over time.”
Last week, following Bashar al-Assad regime’s chemical weapon attack in Syria and subsequent United States cruise missile strikes, Page sent an email to The Daily Beast lamenting that deaths could have been prevented had Russia and the United States been closer. The email was totally unprompted, suggesting that Page is still undertaking an active campaign to push for friendlier relations.
He argued that the ongoing investigations into Russia’s interference in America’s 2016 presidential elections, now taking place in the House and Senate, were distractions that prevented detente.
“Instead of Congress encouraging negotiations with Moscow which might have otherwise helped prevent the chemical attack of 4 April and other recent atrocities in Syria, the continued distraction of last year’s fabrications stood as an obvious roadblock to any serious collaboration that might have saved innumerable lives,” Page wrote.
Page railed against what he called the “current Cold War trajectory” between the United States and Russia. “This week’s deaths of innocent civilians in this ongoing proxy war now undoubtedly demonstrate an initial human cost and the titanic risks involved,” he said.
A dossier written by a former British intelligence officer with longstanding sources in Russia has suggested that Page had ties with the Russian government. These allegations have not been proven, and Page dismissed the claims as a “dodgy dossier that yielded little more than a comedic distraction for months on end.”
“Just as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin enabled victory in World War II through an essential alliance, we cannot in one breath speak of protecting lives and in the next close the prerequisite pathways of negotiation which could allow it,” Carter said in an email to The Daily Beast following America’s air strikes on Assad.
In an interview with The Washington Post last spring, Trump identified Page by name as one of his foreign policy advisers. After Yahoo News reported that intelligence officials were probing ties between Page and the Kremlin, Page stepped down from the campaign, although he denounced the suggestion that he had done anything wrong.
While Page has not been accused of a crime, the revelation Tuesday night that he had been subject to government surveillance suggests that the FBI had undisclosed reasons to suspect he was potentially a foreign agent.