Donald Trump’s campaign advisor Carter Page is far from the only member of the Trump team with deep ties to Russia and its government. But Page has attracted special attention and scrutiny during the course of 2016 due to just how entangled he became. Page’s ties to Russia were reportedly being investigated by the FBI during the campaign, according to Politico. And then shortly after Trump won, Page traveled to Moscow according to the New York Times – and no one involved would say why. Now, with Page’s current association with Trump still unclear, it Page is now apparently speaking on behalf of the Russian government – and threatening a Senator.
The stunning revelation surfaced this week when Russian state-run media reported that Carter Page had sent a threatening letter to John McCain (as unearthed today by reporter Leah McElrath and the respected independent news outlet ShareBlue). The letter vaguely threatened the Republican Senator if he continued with his planned investigation into Russia’s role in interfering with the election. It’s not yet clear whether the supposed letter in question actually exists, as McCain’s office hasn’t yet been able to confirm or deny it. But what’s newsworthy here is that the Russian government is claiming Page sent the letter.
So who is Carter Page at this point? He appears to be some kind of agent of the Russian government. He’s either doing Russia’s bidding by telling a United States Senator to back off from investigating Russia, or if the letter doesn’t exist, he’s allowing himself to be used by the Russian government in false propaganda claims. Has he been turned by Putin since he began traveling to Moscow? Was he a Russian mole within the Trump campaign all along? And more importantly, what is Carter Page’s current official or unofficial role within Donald Trump’s team?
With John McCain and his fellow Republican Senator Lindsey Graham now vowing to investigate and punish Russia for its selection meddling once the Senate is back in session (via their official joint statement today), Carter Page may have just put himself atop the list of McCain’s targets to investigate.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report