Carter Page, who advised Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on foreign policy, says he did not disclose to the campaign his involvement in a federal investigation into efforts by Russian spies to recruit Americans.
BuzzFeed News and ABC News reported on Monday that Page, who Trump named as an adviser on foreign policy in early 2016, was identified in FBI court filings as target of recruitment by three men identified as Russian intelligence agents. Page was never accused in the court filings of having been successfully recruited as a spy.
In an email exchange with CNN’s KFile, Page said he wouldn’t have discussed his involvement in the case with the campaign, citing his background as a naval officer.
“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 over email. “Plus it is completely irrelevant. So your conclusion is correct: no mention of any such extraneous details.”
“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,” Page wrote to CNN.
“Basically, similar principles also apply for any federal investigations that I may or may not have provided support to during my life — both whatever may have happened a few years ago and anything that might be ongoing more recently,” Page added. “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.”