Carter Page said Sunday that his contacts with Stefan Halper, an alleged FBI informant, “intensified” in the month before the U.S. government obtained its first spy warrant against the former Trump campaign aide.
“My conversations with him intensified right, the month before my illegitimate FISA warrant, in September 2016, when all these defamatory articles were being placed by the DNC,” Page said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on “Fox Sunday Futures.”
The FBI obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Page on Oct. 21, 2016. The application for the FISA relied heavily on information from Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the anti-Trump dossier on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.
Page’s remarks raise the possibility that the FBI also used information from Halper, a former Cambridge professor, in its efforts to collect information for the FISA application. Halper, who served in three Republican administrations and was reportedly an FBI informant for two decades, had contact during the 2016 campaign with Page and two other Trump advisers, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos.
Halper and Page first met before a political event at Cambridge on July 10, 2016, three weeks before the FBI officially opened its investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible links to Russia.
Page has told The Daily Caller News Foundation that he and Halper spoke one-on-one at the event, which spanned several days. The FBI has yet to explain why an FBI informant met with Halper before the official opening of Crossfire Hurricane, the code name for the Trump-Russia probe.
Page and Halper met for the second time on Aug. 20, 2016, when Page visited the former professor at his farm in Virginia. They remained in contact through September 2017, the month that the fourth and final FISA warrant against Page expired.
Page said Sunday that he trusted Halper because the former professor presented himself as sympathetic to his plight as a target of media allegations that he was a Kremlin agent. Page, an energy consultant by trade, says he received numerous death threats after Yahoo! News published a story on Sept. 23, 2016 that said he had contacts in Moscow in July 2016 with two Kremlin insiders.
Steele was a source for that article, though that fact was not known until months after the story was published.
Key claims in the dossier have been all but debunked by the special counsel’s report, which found no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government. Though Steele accused Page of being one of the key players in a scheme to collude with the Kremlin, Page was not charged in the special counsel’s probe. He has vehemently denied Steele’s claims.
Page says that he trusted Halper at the time of their interactions and is still willing to give the alleged informant the benefit of the doubt since his work for the FBI has yet to be officially confirmed.
“If our relationship was indeed built on the instructions of U.S. government intelligence commanders, Gestapo-style, then suffice to say that it would be a serious breach of trust on many levels,” Page told TheDCNF Sunday.
Page has also released an email that shows Halper appearing to suggest he agreed with Page that allegations of collusion were false.
“It seems attention has shifted a bit from the ‘collusion’ investigation to the ‘contretempts’ [sic] within the White House,” Halper wrote on July 28, 2017.
“I must assume this gives you some relief,” he continued, adding: “Be in touch when you have the time. Would be great to catch up.”
Halper reached out to Papadopoulos on Sept. 2, 2016, with an offer of $3,000 and a trip to London to discuss writing an academic paper about Mediterranean energy security issues. Halper was accompanied by Azra Turk, a woman he claimed was his assistant but was reportedly a government investigator.
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