CNN is confirming today what a wide barrage of evidence has long pointed to: that Russia tried to use Donald Trump’s campaign adviser Carter Page to infiltrate the campaign from within (link). But while that’s not really news in and of itself, the real story here may be what Page just told CNN in response – because he may have just given away everything.
It’s already been established that a Russian spy ring tried to turn Carter Page into an asset back in 2013. Page went as far as giving the Russians some unspecified documents (NY Times). When the spy ring was busted, authorities in the U.S. notably took no known legal action against Page. It’s led some to speculate that perhaps they turned Page into an informant right then and there. The response Page gave to CNN for its story today sounds a lot like he’s confirming as much:
“My assumption throughout the last 26 years I’ve been going [to Russia] has always been that any Russian person might share information with the Russian government … as I have similarly done with the CIA, the FBI and other government agencies in the past.”
In other words, Carter Page just admitted that he’s supplied information about his Russian interactions to the FBI and CIA. That means that at one point, at least, he was a de facto informant. When did that begin? Was it in 2013, after the U.S. busted the Russian spy ring that had sucked him in? Was that why he wasn’t prosecuted? How long did he remain an FBI informant? Was he one during the Trump campaign? Is he still one? Is that why he acts in interviews as if he has no fear of getting in trouble, even as he willingly incriminates himself with his answers?
This casts new light one another already-documented piece of information about Carter Page: the FBI obtained a FISA warrant on him back in the summer of 2016 (Washington Post), not long after he went to work for the Donald Trump campaign. Usually a FISA warrant is aimed at spying on that person. But if Page was already a willing FBI informant, it’s possible the warrant was obtained so the FBI could surveil the conversations Page was having with the rest of the Trump campaign. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report