A former advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was found to have met with and handed documents to a Russian spy working undercover.
Carter Page met in 2013 in New York City with Victor Podobnyy, whom the U.S. government charged in 2015 for working as an unregistered foreign agent. That year, Pobodnyy and two others were accused of covertly working for Russia’s SVR, which is the Russian Federation’s CIA equivalent. The three men were reportedly attempting to recruit Americans to give them valuable intelligence relating to American sanctions against the Putin regime, along with alternative energy development. Page, who is a consultant for the oil industry, was one of the men in contact with the spy ring.
BuzzFeed News claims it has confirmed that court documents describing Pobodnyy’s attempt to recruit someone named “Male-1” was referencing Page. According to CNN’s sources, Pobodnyy would attempt to recruit by “cheating, promising favors, and then discarding the intelligence source once the relevant information was obtained by the SVR.” Page — who was an unpaid foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign in 2016 — told BuzzFeed News that he provided energy industry-related documents to Pobodnyy, while under the impression that he was a Russian diplomat.
“[Male-1] wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back. I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am…He got hooked on [Russian-owned oil giant] Gazprom thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up,” Podobnyy said in the court documents. “How else to work with foreigners? You promise a favor for a favor. You get the documents from him and tell him to go fuck himself.”
The 2013 meeting was not the only time Page would meet with Russian officials. During the 2016 Republican National Convention, Page also met with Sergey Kislyak, the notorious Russian ambassador to the United States who had unsanctioned conversations with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Politico reported that Page was at a lunch meeting with Kislyak and then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, whom Trump later appointed as his Attorney General. Page told Politico at the time that the conversation was private and off the record, and that nothing “nefarious” was discussed.
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.