Ex-Trump adviser Carter Page said in a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee that he did inform then-US Sen. Jeff Sessions of a trip he made to Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
This contradicts what Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee in July when he said he was unsure if Page had traveled to Russia.
The disclosure by Carter Page came Thursday during a lengthy, behind-closed-doors appearance before the House Intelligence Committee, Fox News has confirmed.
It also contradicted previous comments by Sessions, now U.S. attorney general in the Trump administration, who was a top Trump campaign surrogate in 2016.
In July, Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he didn’t know whether Page had traveled to Russia.
Page testified Thursday without a lawyer present. He invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked why he had not handed over documents to the House committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the election, Politico reported.
“I’m helping to the greatest extent I can,” Page told reporters following his testimony, a transcript of which is expected to be released within three days.
Page reportedly said the purpose of his Russia trip was to give a speech, and that the visit had nothing to do with the Trump campaign, the New York Post reported.
After Page addressed the House panel, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., slammed the news, telling MSNBC that Page’s disclosure of a conversation with Sessions was troubling given Sessions’ July testimony under oath.
Franken said Sessions could possibly face a perjury charge.
“It’s serious stuff,” Franken said. “Perjury is a very careful standard, but something that would be looked at.”
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