Carter Page speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, on December 12, 2016. (AP photo)
US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy adviser during his election campaign met with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013 and provided him documents about the energy industry, according to a FBI court filing.
Russian spy Victor Podobnyy attempted to recruit Carter Page as an intelligence source in 2013, about three years before Trump listed him as a foreign policy adviser, according to the sealed FBI complaint.
Page, an energy consultant working in New York City at the time, acknowledged in a statement on Monday that he shared with Podobnyy “basic immaterial information and publicly available research documents.”
According to the complaint filed in 2015, the FBI interviewed Page as part of an investigation stemming from the indictment of three Russian spies working for the Russian overseas intelligence agency.
Page served briefly as a foreign policy adviser to Trump’s presidential election campaign, though he resigned from the campaign before the presidential election, and the White House says Trump never met Page.
The FBI, as well as the Senate and House intelligence committees, are investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and any ties between Moscow and Trump’s associates, including Page.
Trump has repeatedly denied that he or his associates were in contact with Russia during the presidential campaign. On Monday, he blasted the media for focusing on the alleged ties. “The real story turns out to be SURVEILLANCE and LEAKING! Find the leakers,” Trump wrote in a tweet.
Separately, the Washington Post reported Monday that the United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder and Trump supporter Erik Prince and a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to o facilitate backdoor diplomacy between the two sides.
American, European and Arab officials told the newspaper that the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean in an attempt to persuade Moscow to reduce its close ties with Iran.
Though Prince had no official role with the Trump campaign or transition team, he presented himself as an informal envoy for Trump to senior UAE officials involved in setting up his meeting with the Putin confidant, according to the officials, who did not name the Russian.
US officials said the FBI has been scrutinizing the meeting as part of the broader probe of Russian interference in the US election and alleged contacts between Putin and Trump associates, the newspaper said.
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