Carter Page was an early foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump. He has been scrutinised by the FBI over suspicious communications with Russian officials this summer, and was back in Moscow on Thursday.
- Carter Page is an ex-Merrill Lynch investment banker who’s worked in Russia
- Founder and managing partner of Global Energy Capital in New York
- Despite claims to have worked on some of the biggest deals in Russia over the past decade, few businessmen in Russia claim to know who he is.
- Although Trump named him as a foreign policy advisor, his team have denied it on multiple occasions, including by his press secretary at Trump’s first press conference as president-elect.
- Mysterious ties to the opaque business operations in Russia will continue to leave people questioning who Carter Page really is.
This information comes to light on the heels of a hotly contested news leak that appears to show deeper ties between Trump and Russia than originally thought.
Page was unsurprisingly quiet about the purpose of his visit and told the Russian state-run news agency, RIA Novosti, that he would stay in Moscow until Tuesday and would meet with “business leaders and thought leaders”.
He has founded Global Energy Capital, a New York based investment firm, and drew attention for a speech during the summer that criticized the United States and other Western nations for a “hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change” in Russia and in other parts of the former Soviet Union.
Back in the 2000s he worked for at least three years as an investment banker in Russia, advising on several major deals involving state-owned companies. These extensive business links to Russia have led to some questioning whether he might be serving Trump as a back-channel liaison with the Kremlin.
Intel source: Carter Page met with Kremlin officials about energy deals, lifting Russia sanctions, kompromat on Clinton & Trump (hinted at) pic.twitter.com/OdFJ0V7Ahf
— Paula Chertok (@PaulaChertok) January 11, 2017
Two words: Carter Page. Two more: Roger Stone. All that’s missing now is “smoking gun” that Trump campaign colluded w/Putin. Which they did. https://t.co/C52w74AO2v
— Elliott Lusztig (@ezlusztig) January 7, 2017
Mr Page has called the FBI investigation a “witch hunt” and has of course denied the allegations.
Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, said that government leaders in Moscow had no plans to meet with Carter Page and that they had never had any contact with him. “We have learned about this from the press,” Mr. Peskov told the news agency Interfax.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei A. Ryabkov, said officials at his department had no plans to meet with Mr. Page.
Leonid E. Slutsky of the international affairs committee, in Russia’s parliament, also dismissed the suggestion that Page is acting as a foreign policy adviser to Trump, even though Trump himself told the Washington Post in March that he was.
This was part of a bold “Oh yeah?” moment for the president-elect as he was asked to reveal his list of foreign policy advisors. Amidst just five head-scratching, random assortment of obscure and questionable pundits was the name Carter Page.
“He is not Mr. Trump’s adviser. He is an impostor who likes to make a lot of media noise about himself,” Mr. Slutsky said.
Page had travelled to Moscow most recently in July, giving a speech at the graduation ceremony at the New Economic School – a university in Moscow. At the time, he insisted that his trip was that of a private person.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 11, 2017
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager spoke to CNN in September and said that Carter Page was not part of the Trump team, and was therefore not authorised to speak to Russian officials on its behalf.