“In a private conversation, 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.” He also wrote an email to Trump campaign staffers Tera Dahl and J.D. Gordon, saying, “On a related front, I’ll send you guys a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I’ve received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential administration here.”
Page acknowledged writing all this, but still claimed he had not spoken more than a few words to Dvorkovich, and had instead derived his insights from hearing speeches.
…Schiff summed the situation up cleanly: “Were you being honest in your communication with the campaign? Are you being honest in your testimony? Because it doesn’t seem possible for both to be true.”
Schiff wasn’t the only one baffled. Republican Trey Gowdy, who frequently sounds incredulous during his portions of the testimony, asked, “I didn’t think I’d ever be going through this with anyone, but we’ve got to, I guess. You seem to draw a distinction between a meeting, a greeting, a conversation, and you hearing a speech.”
…According to Page, the list of Trump officials who were informed about the trip includes at the very least Sessions, Hicks, Gordon, Lewandowski, and Sam Clovis, who last week withdrew his nomination for a USDA chief scientist job. This is difficult to square with repeated campaign denials of any contacts with the Russians, no matter Page’s level on the campaign.
Despite Page’s repeated assertions that he made the trip outside of his campaign job, Representative Jackie Speier, a Democrat, pointed out that in an email to the campaign, Page wrote, “Please let me know if you have any reservations or thoughts on how you’d prefer me to focus these remarks.”
…Swalwell was particularly curious about Page’s December 2016 trip to Russia, which the witness said was business-related. But Page could not say who he was meeting with or what projects he was exploring. “Well, Dr. Page, surely you went over there with a plan, right?” Swalwell asked. “You didn’t just go over there to walk around and to find a ‘now hiring’ sign at the Red Square.”