President Donald Trump along with conservative media has gone from alleging President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower to now saying an FBI spy was dispatched by the former president to infiltrate the campaign. But Carter Page won’t back that up.
Of all people who has been intricately involved with the legalities surrounding the Russia investigation, it’s Carter Page. But when CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Page to confirm Trump’s assessment, Page could not.
“I never found anything unusual whatsoever,” Page told Cooper. “You know, there’s a lot of allegations out there right now.”
The first time Page met the man was a week following his trip to Russia. Page said that the two men kept in contact for about a year following the conference they both attended and that they spoke about the campaign and foreign policy.
“You know he is someone who is, you know, long-term — someone who had been part of the establishment in Republican politics,” Page said of the academic who had worked as an assistant for three chiefs of staff, Alexander Haig, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. “So, typically, you know, around the convention time, and halfway through a presidential year, there’s — you keep bringing on more people in terms of potential supporters from the party, et cetera. It just seemed like something like that.”
Cooper noted that Trump has repeatedly called the man a spy and alleged that the man infiltrated the campaign. He asked Page if that was his take and Page said no.
“I see no connection with it. You know, he always said, we’re looking out for the forgotten man,” Page said. “I was — I’ve always been looking to just kind of get justice in terms of what’s been going on. And to the extent that we kind of get some real information out there, as to some of the abuses, and increasingly, there’s been a lot of evidence that’s come out, particularly in early February when the House Intelligence — both the Democrats and the Republicans, their memos continue to show that there was a lot of wrongdoing really to this –”
Cooper asked what he meant by “wrongdoing” and Page clarified that it was an abuse of process in the FISA court that came after him.
The host then asked if Page believed the man was a spy trying to infiltrate the campaign. Page changed the subject about a “drip, drip, drip” of things coming out.
Cooper asked again, this time focusing on his own personal experience and understanding, not the president’s.
“I don’t like to make accusations without hard facts,” Page said. Cooper asked again. “I don’t like jumping to conclusions.”
Cooper said it was “fair enough,” as the same wisdom is not one the president has not heeded.
Watch the full clip below:
Trump is ‘running out of game plan’ as damning facts pile up: Former GOP House Intel chair
Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who previously served as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the Trump White House's angry attacks on ambassador Bill Taylor reek of desperation.
After CNN's Jim Sciutto read the White House's statement accusing Taylor of being a "radical unelected bureaucrat," Rogers dismissed the statement as the act of a cornered administration.
"Bill Taylor is a well respected diplomat over his decades of service to the United States," he said. "When you go on this kind of extreme shouting, hair-on-fire criticism, you are running out of game plan. That's exactly what that tells me."
‘This is simply indefensible’: Two former GOP lawmakers clash over Ukraine testimony
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "New Day," former GOP Reps. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Sean Duffy (R-WI) argued vehemently about the significance of the testimony from Ukraine envoy William Taylor against President Donald Trump.
"The dam is barely holding on. Because look, very persuasive," said Dent. "I don’t know how any Republican member can look at this thing or any member of Congress cannot be alarmed by this. The quid pro quo was stark. And the president is insisting on using, you know, official resources to dig up dirt on his opponent. This is simply indefensible."
"Charlie and I weren’t in the room yesterday for the hearing. And neither were you or your viewers," replied Duffy. "We had more Democrats rush to cameras and with their perspective give us their take on what happened ... I think in America we should open this process up, let every American see Bill Taylor."
‘Reality is hard to ignore’: CNN’s Chris Cuomo clashes with GOP congressman over Ukraine testimony
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," anchor Chris Cuomo traded barbs with Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), who tried to claim there was no evidence Trump committed any wrongdoing in Ukraine — and was repeatedly smacked down.
"What this was was an opening statement with no cross-examination," said Mullin. "What I was told by my Republican colleagues, John Radcliffe tore this apart piece by piece in less than two minutes. We don't know this because it's not open and transparent."
"This is the investigation, though. Just to make it clear for the audience," said Cuomo. "You don't usually get, as a defendant, a team in there to help new an investigation. But Republicans are there and you asked him to take the job as a lifelong Republican."