Carter Page is or perhaps is not an advisor to Donald Trump on foreign policy. Both have been said by people on Trump’s campaign staff. He has written favorably (if oddly) on Russia and gave a speech in Moscow earlier this year. He was not willing to share the content of that speech or much about his visit with the press.
Michael Isikoff tells us that “intelligence officials” (not clear what that means) are investigating that visit. Harry Reid had sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey expressing concern about Page’s Moscow connections that may have been the impetus for the investigation.
Back in July, I summarized what I could find about Page as part of collecting information on Trump’s Russian connections generally (additional posts here and here). There wasn’t much to be found, and the articles I’ve seen since then, including Isikoff’s, recycle this basic background.
But Julia Ioffe has been reporting! She asked a great many people about Page, including her wide array of Russian contacts. Nothing. Nobody seems to know the guy.
There are a couple of conclusions that might be drawn from this. One is that Page is as much a con man as Trump is. It’s a commonplace that con men are the most easily conned, and Trump may be no exception. The other is that Page is a nobody who’s been recruited by Russian intelligence. The two are not mutually exclusive, so it’s good that those intelligence officials will be checking up on Page.
Photo from the Isikoff article.