Carter Page speaks to reporters after testifying. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Carter Page, the former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's campaign who has come under scrutiny for past contacts with Russian operatives, testified for 6.5 hours Thursday before the House Intelligence Committee. Page did not have a lawyer with him.
Page was asked about a trip to Moscow that he took during the campaign and whether any campaign officials were aware he was going, CNN reports. He said he told Jeff Sessions, who was leading the campaign's foreign policy team, in passing at a campaign dinner (the only time they met), and Sessions had no notable response.
The backdrop: The news comes as Sessions is already under scrutiny over a report that he "shut down" a request from George Papadopoulos, another campaign foreign policy adviser, to arrange a meeting between campaign officials and Vladimir Putin. Sessions had previously testified that he had no knowledge of attempts by anyone on the campaign to cooperate with Russia.
Page to CNN after testifying:
"Back in June 2016, I mentioned in passing that I happened to be planning to give a speech at a university in Moscow. Completely unrelated to my limited volunteer role with the campaign and as I've done dozens of times throughout my life. Understandably, it was as irrelevant then as it is now. If it weren't for the dodgy dossier and all the chaos that those complete lies had created, my passing comment's complete lack of relevance should go without saying."
Rep. Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the committee's investigation:
"I don't make anything sinister out of it. He said Sessions did not react or comment one way or the other. If I were Sessions, I wouldn't have recalled it either. It was just in passing. He was walking out of the room. A guy he had never met before, grabs him, 'Hey, I'm out on the team. I changed my travel plans to go to Russia.'"