Former Trump adviser Carter Page — reportedly the subject of a secret FBI surveillance warrant linked to his dealings with Russia — repeatedly denied wrongdoing during a Wednesday face-off with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“This is such a joke that it’s beyond words,” Page said of the news, which broke Tuesday in the Washington Post, that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant to listen in on his phone conversations.
But when Tapper asked if the FBI had ever interviewed him as part of an investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign, Carter said he had no comment. Tapper pointed out that Page’s reluctance was new — until March, Page had “repeatedly” asserted that the FBI had not contacted him.
“Is it fair to assume from that, that you have now talked to the FBI and you are just declining to comment because now the facts have changed?” Tapper asked.
“Well, I have been very forthcoming that I want to get as much information out there as possible, and that has stood from the very beginning,” Page said, adding that he looked forward to “really supporting this ongoing process.”
Page also suggested that media articles written about his alleged ties to the Kremlin had a bigger impact on the 2016 presidential election than the WikiLeaks release of the emails of DNC staffers and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta — leaks that he said Russia may have orchestrated. But, Page added, he had “not closely studied that.”
Page declined to answer Tapper’s questions about who originally recruited him into the Trump campaign, though he did say it wasn’t Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, who is reportedly expected to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent due to his work for a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party.