Carter Page gives interview in front of fake Arizona background – is he still in Russia?

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This week, enigmatic former Donald Trump campaign advisor Carter Page appeared on a PBS News Hour interview to defend himself from the revelation that he was caught on a phone wiretap colluding with Russian intel agents during the election. This came as a surprise because Page’s last publicly known location was Moscow, suggesting he had already fled the country. He told PBS this week he’s Arizona – but he was standing in front of what appears to be a fake background that has been used before by other political figures.

Here’s a screen grab of Carter Page’s interview on PBS News Hour this week:

If your first thought was “Why is he standing outdoors in front of a mountain during a remote television interview,” we asked the same question. And if your second thought was “Does he look like he’s poorly superimposed on that fake looking background,” we asked that question as well. So we went digging, using a Google image reverse-search, and we uncovered this strangely familiar image of Arizona Congressman Trent Franks giving an MSNBC interview in 2016 in front of the exact same scene:

What the hell? You have to ask yourself the odds that two different people would give remote television interviews to two different unaffiliated networks in two different years, and just happen to be standing in the same exact spot and angle, outdoors, in front of a mountain, on two days that both just happened to be completely cloudless. Congressman Franks represents Arizona, so we trust that the scenery behind him is in fact of Arizona; we’ve reached out to his office to ask the precise outdoor spot where he may have been standing for this interview, or if he was merely using a stock Arizona background image to represent his state while he was in session in Washington DC.

Either way, how did Carter Page manage to end up doing an interview with a different network months later, in front of the exact same unlikely-looking background? Did he steal the background imagery from the Arizona Congressman’s interview, so it would look like he was in Arizona? Is Page still in Moscow, where he mysteriously traveled to in December and until now hadn’t been heard from since? Or is he indeed in Arizona, and this is some kind of phenomenally unlikely fluke of background image coincidence?

We’ve reached out to PBS News Hour to ask what they definitively know about Carter Page’s current location, and if they were simply taking his word for it when he claimed he was in Arizona. If you want to take a look for yourself, you can watch the Carter Page interview on PBS News Hour here:

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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report