Is Carter Page the Direct Link Between Trump and Putin?
If we get a bipartisan, independent investigation, or the CIA is able to declassify the intelligence it has, the most devastating evidence would be a direct link between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the presidential campaign. If you were not paying attention before the election, the most likely link is Carter Page.
Page was introduced as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign at a press conference, and on their website. In September, the results of a Yahoo News investigation was published which showed that U.S. intelligence were aware that Page met with Igor Diveykin, a former Russian security official in Russia. Diveykin now serves as Deputy Chief for Internal Policy, but Intelligence officials believe he has responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election.
The behavior that creates the most suspicion, however, was the reaction of the Trump campaign. Instead of breaking ties with Page, Trump surrogates denied he had ever been part of the campaign despite the fact they had announced him as a foreign advisor at a press conference, and he was still listed as such on their website.
Yahoo news reported that Page first drew the attention of U.S. intelligence at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow several years ago. He showed up in the Russian capital during several business trips and made provocative public comments critical of U.S. policy and sympathetic to Putin. Yahoo news also reported that U.S. intelligence officials were seeking to determine whether Page has opened up private communications with other senior Russian officials, including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Trump becomes president.
Senior members of Congress, during briefings before the election, were told about Russian efforts to influence the presidential election, and discussed the activities of Carter Page. Page’s contacts in Moscow include senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin. In addition to Diveykin, they include Igor Sechin, a longtime Putin associate and former Russian Deputy Prime Minister. The Treasury Department named Sechin to a list of Russian officials and businessmen sanctioned in 2014. A senior U.S. law enforcement official stated he did not dispute that characterization when asked for comment by Yahoo News. “It’s on our radar screen,” said the official about Page’s contacts with Russian officials. “It’s being looked at.”
Since then, the Moscow Times reported that Sechin’s’ chief of staff, Oleg Erovinkin, who Carter Page met with while in Moscow was found in the back seat of a company car in central Moscow on December 26th. Officials from the Federal Security Service (FSB) have opened an investigation. Could it be that the dots that connect Trump to Putin are already being eliminated?
The question was made even more intriguing by Trump’s new White House press secretary. Before Trump’s recent press conference, Sean Spicer denied that Donald Trump even knew Carter Page. This is somewhat hard to believe, since he was introduced as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign at a press conference, and listed as such on their website. Trump seems very determined to distance himself from Page, at the same time he and Pence struggle to deflect from questions about direct ties from people on his campaign and Russia.
US Intelligence Corroborates Info in Steele Dossier
US intelligence sources have confirmed that they have now corroborated that conversations detailed in the Christopher Steele memos did take place on the dates specified, with the people specified, and in the places specified, in the Steele memos. Although they did not say which meetings, there are only two meetings in the dossier with specific dates; a meeting on August 15, 2016 between President Putin and ex-President Yanukovych of Ukraine; and an alleged meeting on July 7 or 8, 2016 between Sechin and Page where 19% stake in Rosneft was discussed in exchange for lifting sanctions.
This secret meeting in Moscow between Trump’s foreign policy advisor Carter Page and Rosneft President Igor Sechin is particularly interesting because of what has happened since. On December 8th, Rosneft sold a 19.5% stake to a consortium consisting of the British-Swiss commodities trading firm Glencore and the Qatari Sovereign Wealth Fund. Then on December 26th, the Moscow Times reported that Sechin’s chief of staff, Oleg Erovinkin, who Carter Page met with while in Moscow, was found dead in the back seat of a company car in central Moscow. He was taken to a Federal Security Service (FSB) morgue where the FSB coroner ruled the cause of death was a heart attack.