Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, said his comment about traveling to Russia last summer to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions was a “nothing event” and that he told "a few other people" in the campaign.
“You know, that mention, which was the big headline yesterday, was a brief comment as we were walking towards the elevator after having a dinner together,” Page told CNN host Jake Tapper during an interview on Friday. “And so it was such a nothing event, and, you know, as you correctly noted, I mentioned that I'm heading over [to Russia], and totally unrelated to the campaign.”
Page added that his dinner with Sessions, now U.S. attorney general, was just before he left for Moscow and that the comment was “totally in passing.” Sessions also served as an adviser to the Trump campaign.
Tapper pressed Page on whether he told others in the campaign about his trip and who he told.
“I mentioned it to a few other people,” Page said.
“It will come out,” Page added. “Things keep leaking.”
Page is of particular interest to various investigations by House and Senate panels and special counsel Robert Mueller as they seek to determine if the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. Page’s trip to Moscow in July 2016 and previous contacts with Russians in particular are under scrutiny.
Page met privately with the House Intelligence Committee for approximately eight hours on Thursday. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, has been leading the House committee’s Russia investigation and said Page responded to all questions, however, he indicated that Page has not completely complied with the committee’s subpoena for documents.
George Papadopoulos, another former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty last month to misleading FBI agents concerning his contacts with Russians during a January interview.