Now that the United States intelligence community has caught four of Donald Trump’s top campaign advisors having regularly colluded by phone with Russian intel officials during the campaign, it may be simply a matter of which of them flips on Trump first. The complicating factor: none of the four still work for him. But it turns out Trump’s current White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Rick Dearborn, is also implicated in the Russia scandal, in a manner which could force him to flip on Trump.
The four Donald Trump campaign advisors exposed this week for colluding with Russia during the campaign are the recently fired Michael Flynn, the previously fired Paul Manafort, the long ago departed Roger Stone, and the enigmatic Carter Page. Of the four men, Page may be the most curious case. He had been deeply tied to Russia for years before he was hired for the Trump campaign, and after the campaign was over, he bizarrely turned up in Moscow for no official reason. Nothing about Carter Page has ever made sense on the surface. And guess who told Donald Trump to hire Page in the first pace?
Last summer, when political journalists were all trying to figure out who the mysterious Carter Page was, Politico came up with this damning sentence: “The Page connection was Rick Dearborn, Sessions’ chief of staff, who hired Page because Dearborn knew nothing about foreign policy but needed to put together a foreign policy staff for Trump’s Alexandria, Virginia, policy shop and he happened to know Page.” That’s right. Rick Dearborn, who at the time was the chief of staff for then-Senator Jeff Sessions, was the one who brought the Russia-tainted Carter Page into the Donald Trump campaign.
Page appears to have had deeper ties with Russia, before and during and after the campaign, than anyone else in Trump’s employ. And whether by coincidence or reward, Trump then named Dearborn his White House Deputy Chief of Staff, and he named Sessions his Attorney General, raising questions about how they got those jobs.
What did Rick Dearborn know about Carter Page, when did he know it, and what did he tell Donald Trump about Page? Now that Page has been confirmed as a key suspect in the Russian election collusion conspiracy, Dearborn is implicated as well. Where did he get Page from? How did he end up with such a cushy job after bringing a Russian mole like Page into the Trump fold? And will Rick Dearborn ultimately be the one who flips on Trump?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report