Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged about his link to the Kremlin in a letter he wrote in 2013, according to a new report.
Obtained by TIME, the letter was sent to an academic press amid a dispute over an unpublished manuscript, according to an editor who worked with Page.
“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” says the letter from August 25, 2013.
Page sent the letter two months after he was interviewed by FBI agents about his Russian contacts.
The controversial House Intelligence Committee memo outlining alleged abuses of secret surveillance by the FBI and Justice Department mentions Page, explaining the process by which Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications were submitted for approval by a judge to spy on him.
The document claims the Justice Department and FBI officials used information from the salacious and largely unverified "Trump dossier," authored by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, to renew a surveillance warrant against Page.
After the memo came out, Page told TIME that in the first three-quarters of 2013 he "sat in on and contributed to a few roundtable discussion with people from around the world" — meetings that began when a Russian representatives was in New York at the United Nations. However, Page described these events as "really plain-vanilla stuff.”
Page testified before the House Intelligence Committee, which is one of a few panels probing Russian interference in the 2016 election along with special counsel Robert Mueller's team, in November — the transcript of which can be found here. He told investigators that he met with Russian government officials during his trip to Moscow in June 2016, in the midst of the 2016 campaign, though he claimed it was unrelated to the campaign. He also told CNN that he met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich for a "casual hello" during the trip because they both were speaking at the same event.
However, during his testimony he was pressed by ranking member Adam Schiff, D-Calif, about writing in a memo to the Trump campaign saying: "Dvorkovich expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems." Page acknowledged the memo, but described it as "a general sentiment of, you know, hope for the future."
Page has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and claims he told several people about his trip to Moscow, including then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and Hope Hicks, who is now White House communications director.
Page told the Washington Examiner on Friday he will be updating his slander lawsuits against various news organizations in light of the release of the House Intel memo, and hailed the release of that report as a way to "repair" U.S. democracy.