International businessman Carter Page blames the mainstream media and the “corrupt Clinton regime” -- not himself -- for repeatedly saying he was an adviser to the Donald Trump presidential team, according to a letter obtained Sunday by Fox News.
Page made the argument in response to a December 2016 letter from Trump’s legal team telling him to “immediately cease” saying he is a Trump adviser, amid mounting evidence that Russia had meddled in the White House race that Trump won a month earlier.
“Thank you for your letter … and the opportunity to address the false impression that I may in some way be holding myself out as an ‘adviser’ to Mr. Trump,” Page said in response to Trump attorney Don McGhan’s letter to him a day earlier.
“I believe this extremely false perception might be based on frequent and continued mischaracterizations in the mainstream media. … The media narrative is completely outside of my personal control despite constant and intensive efforts by me.”
Page -- an international financier who specializes in Russia’s oil and gas markets and who once worked in Moscow -- was in fact part of a short-lived Trump foreign policy advisory team in March 2016.
“I have done nothing more than admit that I previously served as a member of the … team,” Page insists in his response to McGhan.
There has been increasing speculation in recent weeks about whether Russian operatives tried to use Page to infiltrate the 2016 elections or the Trump campaign.
Page, managing partner of Global Energy Capital LLC, has acknowledged being among those who talked with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at last summer’s Republican National Committee convention, where Trump won the GOP presidential nomination, but has denied any wrongdoing.
He also suggested in his response letter that the “highly damaging statements” against him are part of a “last-ditch effort by the corrupt Clinton regime to delegitimize” Trump and his administration
Page’s communications were being wiretapped by the FBI at least since last summer because the federal government had reason to believe he was acting as a Russian agent, according to The Washington Post.
The U.S. intelligence community has said Russia meddled in the race, in which Trump upset Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but found no evidence of vote tampering.
FBI Director James Comey recently acknowledged the agency is investigating the issue. And top congressional committees are also expected to intensify their probes as members return from break to Washington this week.
“You never met Mr. Trump, nor did you ever ‘advise’ Mr. Trump about anything. You are thus not an ‘adviser’ to Mr. Trump in any sense of the word,” McGhan, now White House counsel to the president, says in his Dec. 22, 2016, letter to Page, obtained Saturday by Fox News.
Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.