It’s been an interesting week for Carter Page, possibly the unsharpest tack in the dull box that is the Trump campaign. Earlier, Page admitted that he may have traded a few of those Russia notes with George Papadopoulos, which—like Jefferson Sessions—he sort of forgot to mention to investigators.
"It may have come up, yeah," Page told MSNBC's Chris Hayes when asked whether he may have exchanged emails with George Papadopoulos and whether the two discussed Russia.
Considering that Papadopoulos appears to have emailed his fellow advisers over and over—and Page was very likely the “other foreign policy adviser” who Sam Clovis suggested Papadopolous take along on his proposed Russia trip … yeah, it may have come up.
Thursday was Page’s day to appear before the House Intelligence Committee. It was originally supposed to be an open session, but early on Thursday, Page went behind closed doors. And ...
Carter Page is still down in HPSCI SCIF, about seven hours since he went through the door.
— Katie Bo Williams (@KatieBoWill) November 2, 2017
It may have been helpful that Page apparently started off his testimony by criticizing the panel. Congressional panels love that kind of thing. So, what can Page be talking about for so long?
Court papers released Monday by Mueller show that Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russian government officials.
Page has previously said he’d had some "brief" contacts with low-level Russians in 2013, and even traveled to Moscow in July 2016. But he has said he wasn’t representing the Trump campaign.
Which is exactly the story that Papadopoulos was telling about his contact with Russians, before he ‘fessed up and mentioned the dozen or so other times he talked to Russians as part of the Trump campaign. And his efforts to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian officials. And his efforts to secure Hillary Clinton’s emails to give the campaign “dirt.”
While everyone waits for Page to appear back through those chamber doors, feel free to speculate on what kind of fashionable wrist-wear he may be sporting when he comes out.
Oh, who did Papadopoulos talk to at the Trump campaign right after he got that info on Clinton emails? That would be Paul Manafort. What does the Steele dossier have to say about Page and Manafort?
That document paints a somewhat sinister role for Page. Quoting an unidentified source, it says the Trump campaign maintained a “well developed conspiracy of cooperation between them and the Russian leadership.” The dossier claimed it was managed by Paul Manafort -- Trump’s former campaign manager, who was indicted on multiple charges Monday -- while Page served as one of the intermediaries.
The House Intelligence Committee has been trying very, very hard to fumble around until this whole things just went away on its own. Somehow, that seems less likely at this point.