Two years before joining the Trump campaign as a foreign policy adviser, New York business consultant Carter Page was targeted for recruitment as an intelligence source by Russian spies promising favors for business opportunities in Russia, according to a sealed FBI complaint.
Page confirmed to ABC News that he is the individual identified as “Male-1” in a 2015 court document submitted in a case involving the Russian spies.
Page told ABC News he cooperated in the case, and felt the Feds “unmasked” him by describing him in January 2015 in a manner that would be known to energy insiders.
“I didn’t want to be a spy,” he said in an interview early Monday afternoon. “I’m not a spy.”
Page was never accused during the Buryakov case of having been successfully recruited or of spying. FBI agents say in the court record that they interviewed “Male-1” in June 2013. During the interview, Page described how he and the man identified as a Russian recruiter, Victor Podobnyy, met periodically and exchanged emails about the energy industry, but nothing in the court document suggests that Page shared any sensitive information with Podobnyy. Rather, it appears they spoke in much the way business executives seeking opportunities do – with Page touting his work ties to the Russian energy firm Gazprom. The Russians were heard laughing, saying Page had no idea they were government agents.
The FBI said “Male-1” provided the Russians his “outlook on the current and future of the energy industry” and “also provided documents … about the energy business.”
Of the whole group in Trump’s circle with ties to various Russians, I would have picked Page as the one most likely to actually be a Russian asset or to have something to hide. But if this is the best the FBI can leak on the guy, you have to assume there isn’t very much in existence.