The transcript of Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee was released publicly on Monday night. Page’s testimony has done quite a bit to implicate and incriminate a number of Trump campaign officials and even some current Trump White House advisers, including Donald Trump himself. Remarkably, Page just confirmed a key claim made in the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.
In the dossier assembled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, one of the key assertions is that Russia offered Carter Page the opportunity to negotiate a deal to sell a 19% stake in Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft to Donald Trump. Russia did go on to sell a 19% stake of Rosneft to a buyer whose identity is still unknown (link). Some have posited that Russia secretly sold the share to Donald Trump himself, as a way of buying off his political cooperation.
Apart from the fact that the Rosneft share was sold to someone, none of the above has been confirmed – until now. During his testimony, Carter Page admits that he was in touch with Rosneft executive Andrey Baranov. When asked if Baranov brought up the possibility of Page playing a role in the Rosneft sale, Page responded that Baranov “may have briefly mentioned it.” It’s difficult to imagine Russia entrusting Page with something as vital as the Rosneft deal. When three Russian spies were caught discussing Page on a wiretap in 2014, they were poking fun at him for being an “idiot.” However, what matters here is that it confirms one of the most controversial claims in the Trump-Russia dossier.
Since it became public, the dossier has been subjected to a uniquely brutal level of skepticism by the American media. In the months since, one key claim of the dossier after another has been independently verified. Now Carter Page is admitting that one of its key components – the Rosneft offer – did indeed play out as the dossier claimed. Can the Pee Pee Tape be far behind?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report