Try as he might to distract the media and average Americans through tweet rants and other forms of obfuscation, Der Trumpenführer simply cannot get stories swirling around Russiagate to go away. Now, BuzzFeed has broken a story that Trump's former foreign policy adviser, Carter Page passed information to Russian intelligence operatives as far back as 2013. Worse yet, documentation in federal lawsuit indicates that Page was subject to Russian efforts to turn him into a Russian intelligence asset - spy might be the correct term - here in America. Adding to the story line is a separate report that Trump son-in-law, whom some are now calling "Prince Jared" meet with the head of the Russian bank at the center of the Page controversy. It seems that Kushner met with Putin's hand picked head of the bank, a many with Russian intelligence ties as well. Suffice it to say, with ever increasing smoke swirling around, it is becoming increasingly hard to believe that there isn't real fire somewhere under all of the smoke clouds.
A former campaign adviser for Donald Trump met with and passed documents to a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013.The adviser, Carter Page, met with a Russian intelligence operative named Victor Podobnyy, who was later charged by the US government alongside two others for acting as unregistered agents of a foreign government. The charges, filed in January 2015, came after federal investigators busted a Russian spy ring that was seeking information on US sanctions as well as efforts to develop alternative energy. Page is an energy consultant.
A court filing by the US government contains a transcript of a recorded conversation in which Podobnyy speaks with one of the other men busted in the spy ring, Igor Sporyshev, about trying to recruit someone identified as “Male-1.” BuzzFeed News has confirmed that “Male-1” is Page.
The revelation of Page’s connection to Russian intelligence — which occurred more than three years before his association with Trump — is the most clearly documented contact to date between Russian intelligence and someone in Trump’s orbit. It comes as federal investigators probe whether Trump’s campaign-era associates — including Page — had any inappropriate contact with Russian officials or intelligence operatives during the course of the election. Page has volunteered to help Senate investigators in their inquiry.
He [Page] rose to prominence seemingly out of nowhere last summer, touted by then-candidate Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers. Page was quickly cut from the Trump team following reports that federal investigators were probing his ties to Russian officials. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said last month that the campaign had sent Page cease and desist letters last year, demanding he stop associating himself with it.
A US intelligence official said that investigators intend to question Page eventually, but that he was not considered a high priority. “There’s so many people that are more relevant,” the official said.
Page confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Monday that he is “Male-1” in the court filing and said he had been in contact with Podobnyy, who was working at the time at Moscow’s UN office in New York City under diplomatic cover, although he was really an SVR agent. Pressed on details of his contact with Podobnyy, Page said their interactions did not include anything sensitive.
Podobnyy and Sporyshev were charged in absentia — working under official cover positions, they were afforded diplomatic immunity and were whisked out of the country. Buryakov, who worked under unofficial cover as an employee of state-controlled Vnesheconombank in Manhattan, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to act as a foreign agent. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and was due to have been released from a federal prison in Elkton, Ohio, on Saturday, and returned to Moscow.
In a previous conversation, when asked if he had ever met with Russian intelligence operatives, Page told BuzzFeed News in a message on the Telegram messaging app: “I’M VERY CAREFUL WHEN I SAY ‘NEVER’ BUT EVEN IF I HAD INADVERTENTLY HAD ‘CONTACT’ SUCH AS BRIEFLY SAYING HELLO TO SOMEONE WHO MIGHT FALL UNDER THAT LABEL IN PASSING NOTHING I EVER SAID TO THEM OR ANYONE ELSE WOULD’VE EVER BROKEN ANY LAW.”
A dossier compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, used to brief then-president Obama, then-president-elect Trump, and Gang of Eight congressional leaders in January, cited a Kremlin official as saying that the Kremlin had sought a relationship with certain figures in the US, including Page, and had indirectly funded some of their visits to Russia. Page denied playing a role in the Kremlin’s attempt to undermine the US election in conversations with BuzzFeed News.,
To me, of course, the irony is that it was those who view themselves as "real Americans" are the ones who put potential traitors in the White House and center of American government.