Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, said he did not inform the campaign about his contacts with Russian spies or his involvement in a federal investigation involving those contacts, CNN reports.
BuzzFeed News on Monday reported a court filing by the U.S. government that described a 2013 meeting between Page and Victor Podobnyy, a Russian intelligence operative who was later charged for acting “as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.” A transcript included in the filing describes how Podobnyy tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit Page.
On Wednesday, Page told CNN’s KFile that he did not find it “appropriate” to disclose his role in the federal investigation to Trump campaign officials, citing his experience in the U.S. Navy.
“Similar to my experience in the Navy such as on USS Alabama, the service I’ve provided to this country in areas that are classified such as any federal investigation I may have supported is not something that is appropriate to talk about,” Page said, according to CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski. “Plus it is completely irrelevant. So your conclusion is correct: no mention of any such extraneous details.”
Page added there’s “an old saying we had when I served in the Navy: we do not discuss the presence or absence of nuclear weapons aboard specific ships, submarines, or aircraft.” He said the same goes for “any federal investigations that I may or may not have provided support to during my life.”
“It’s unfortunate that some people may take steps to betray these principles, but certainly no one on the Trump campaign ever asked me to do so,” Page added.