On Thursday, Carter Page, a former foreign policy advisor for Donald Trump’s campaign, slithered around questions about his reported conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in July 2016. Page’s interview arrives after news of Attorney General Jeff Session meetings with Kislyak, which prompted the AG to recuse himself from investigations into Trump-Russia ties.
Page stopped by MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, and the host asked whether Page and Trump advisor J.D. Gordon met with Kislyak at a GOP convention event (for the Heritage Foundation). Well, he didn’t so much deny the act as he danced around the question. His reason for being indirect? He didn’t want to be rude to the event organizers or break confidentiality rules:
“I’m not going to deny that I talked to him. Although I will say that I never met him anywhere outside of Cleveland. Let’s just say that much. I may have met him possibly, what might have been in Cleveland. Again, I’m respectful to the organizers; I’m respectful to confidentiality rules.”
The conversation continued on like this with Page tiptoeing around direct questions. Hayes grew irritated by Page’s answers and wanted to know why members of the Trump administration don’t give straight answers about Russia. He pointed out how Page’s tactics only made him look more suspicious, to which Page smiled and continued to say he may or may not have spoken to Kislyak.
Page’s answers seem to be an about-face. Only a few weeks ago, he told PBS News Hour in February that he had no meetings with Russian officials in 2016. It’s just another confusing installment of the Trump-Russia saga.