Congressional Democrats are delaying the testimony of an ex-Trump adviser caught up in the Russia probe in an attempt to prevent him from pushing back on “false or misleading testimony” by Obama-era spy chiefs, President Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
Trump – whose spokespeople had previously minimized the role Carter Page played as a campaign adviser – wrote a pair of tweets after Page’s letter to the House Intelligence Committee that went public earlier this week. Page confirmed in the letter, which was obtained by Fox News, that he would not meet with the committee in early June, as he said he had been set to do. The committee had not confirmed the June appearance and it’s unclear if another date has been set for Page to appear.
“So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don’t want him to testify. He blows away their case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing ‘the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan…’ Witch Hunt!” Trump wrote.
Page, in his letter, wrote he was disappointed he “might not be immediately afforded the opportunity to address” allegations made against him in a series of leaks and innuendo stemming from government investigations into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Those probes were previously helmed by Comey, the ex-FBI chief, and Brennan, the former CIA director.
Page’s trips to Russia and communications with Russian officials are reportedly under scrutiny; however, the oil industry consultant has denied any wrongdoing.
“In the interest of finally providing the American people with some accurate information at long last, I hope that we can proceed with this straight dialogue soon,” Page wrote in his Monday letter.
Trump’s tweet about Page is a marked departure from the administration’s previous tactic of diminishing Page’s role as a former Trump adviser.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer during a March 20 briefing referred to “the Carter Pages” of the campaign as “hangers-on.”
“But those people, the greatest amount of interaction that they had with the campaign was the campaign apparently sending them a series of cease-and-desist letters,” Spicer said.
In September, Trump campaign communications director Jason Miller told The Hill via email that Page was “not an adviser and has made no contribution to the campaign.”
“He’s never been a part of our campaign. Period.”