Carter Page: Perhaps an Idiot but No Dummy

 

Carter Page, the former Merrill Lynch banker, is no doubt very ambitious. He tried to leverage his degree, his business savvy and his Russian Rolodex to untold riches. And while his ambition and naiveté may have led him to be a recruitment target for Russian intelligence in 2013, he’s no dummy. He helped the FBI in their prosecution of Russian intelligence operatives and knew well that he was at least one of the “idiots” that Russian spies had targeted as a source of American intelligence. It defies all logic to assume that subsequent to his FBI cooperation, Page would allow himself to be targeted a second time as an intelligence source by Russian spies, or that Russia would attempt to recruit him. Page may be an idiot, even something of a Russian apologist and Putin fellow traveler, but he’s not stupid

Very early on, Obama and his inner circle were well aware of Page’s Russia background and cooperation with the FBI and the Justice Department. He was implicated in the Steele Dossier and claims these implications are entirely false. We know that this Dossier is uncorroborated and that it was paid by and prepared for the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Yet this Dossier was used to obtain warrants to surveil Page. Page has not been charged with any crime.

The real question is this: why implicate Page in the Dossier? Why?

The answer is simple. Because it provided what seemed to be a smoking gun in the collusion allegations – a Trump advisor, in Russia, meeting with Russians, admitting that the sanctions may have come up. This was immediately reported in the worst possible light by Yahoo News, a report we now know was fed to them by none other than Steele, the author of the Dossier. Page denied those reports and sued Yahoo. The Yahoo report was later cited as corroboration of the Dossier, though those making that claim knew, or should have known, that both relied upon Steele as the sole source of the information. In fact, Steele initially lied about his meeting with Yahoo and was later discredited and fired by the FBI for misleading them.

How very convenient that Carter Page, an international carpetbagger who hitched his fortunes to Russian energy (and even wrote his doctoral thesis on the topic), is suddenly the broker who helped coordinate Russia’s aid to the Trump campaign, namely the Wikileaks email releases. Forget about Comey’s announcement of the missing Clinton emails on Wiener’s laptop and the reopening of the email scandal investigation (albeit for a very brief time, “nothing to see here – move along.”)

Funny thing: the inner security folks in the Obama White House knew about Carter Page and his Russia ties. They also knew about Manafort’s ties to pro-Russia people in Ukraine. We know that Obama officials contemplated, but did not provide, the Trump Campaign with a heads-up in either case. Instead, they went in a different, more convenient, direction.

That is the path we are now retracing. The Obama team thought they saw smoke. It may well have been just Obama sneaking a Kool out in the Rose Garden.

There are 19 comments.

  1. Bob Thompson Member

    Doug Kimball:

    The real question is thus: why implicate Page in the Dossier? Why?

     

    Because there are some real dummies in this game.

    • #1
    • May 23, 2018, at 12:12 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Doug Kimball: That is the path we are now retracing. The Obama team thought they saw smoke. It may well have been just Obama sneaking a Kool out in the rose garden.

    Dude, perfect! 

    • #2
    • May 23, 2018, at 1:06 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. PHCheese Member

    Anytime you hear a Democrat say the FBI were surveillaning the Trump campaign so the could keep track of Russians trying to influence the election just ask a simple common sense question. Why weren’t they also involved in the Clinton campaign. It was a two person race after all. Name the spy, spying on Hillary. Crickets !!

    • #3
    • May 23, 2018, at 1:11 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  4. Profile Photo Member

    Putin is a thug but we deal with lots of thugs. He has serious problems with Russia and, as John McCain of all people once said, “Russia is a gas station with a foreign policy.” Why not engage and see what we can accomplish ? Obama was perfectly willing to engage our sworn enemy, Iran. This is all after-the-fact stuff by Clinton and the DNC.

    At least Putin won his fixed election.

    • #4
    • May 23, 2018, at 5:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Ruthenian Member

    I seriously doubt he is an idiot. He may act like one during TV interviews, but he is no dummy. He was FBI’s undercover employee who planted listening devices on Russian spies in 2013. As late as March 2016 he probably still was an undercover employee. I asked elsewhere whether he was on an assignment for the FBI as an informant while working for the Trump Campaign. I do not know either way, but find him a strange character. FSB surely knows that he helped get their spies outed, and, yet, he travels easily to Russia with no issues. He has been surveilled legally since late 2016, and, yet, no charges have been brought against him. He might have been a convenient excuse for a FISA warrant, or he was on an assignment… Who really is this strange bird?

    • #5
    • May 23, 2018, at 10:56 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Doug Kimball Member
    Doug Kimball Post author

    Ruthenian (View Comment):

    I seriously doubt he is an idiot. He may act like one during TV interviews, but he is no dummy. He was FBI’s undercover employee who planted listening devices on Russian spies in 2013. As late as March 2016 he probably still was an undercover employee. I asked elsewhere whether he was on an assignment for the FBI as an informant while working for the Trump Campaign. I do not know either way, but find him a strange character. FSB surely knows that he helped get their spies outed, and, yet, he travels easily to Russia with no issues. He has been surveilled legally since late 2016, and, yet, no charges have been brought against him. He might have been a convenient excuse for a FISA warrant, or he was on an assignment… Who really is this strange bird?

    You and I are sympatico here. As for his free travel to and from Russia, no doubt the Russians found him more useful as a Russia sympathizer and a facilitator of deals (Russia is a corrupt kleptocracy after all). And he is a US citizen. So one Russian spy went to jail and two others were ordered to leave the US and never return; cost of doing business. It would be the ultimate irony if he was one of the Obama Administration’s plants. But I doubt that very much. No, Carter Page was not likely a willing plant; he was an unwilling plant. He presented an opportunity to surreptitiously justify an investigation, to keep an eye on Trump and even to bait an unknowing campaign operative into divulging or participating in some nefarious coordination with Russia. Pappadopoulis was yet another campaign naïf targeted for incrimination. Manafort presented a different opportunity, given he and his partner’s history in the Ukraine. Flynn fell in their laps, caught as he was on a call with the Russian consul, and later unveiled. The other unveilings (we now know that the number of American’s identified on NSA foreign surveillance taps rose exponentially in 2016) were simply part of a pattern of fishing for dirt on opponents. It appears now that Flynn was the only fish landed, and his “lying” accusation was not shared by those who conducted his FBI interviews. Of course, Mueller did not stop there with Flynn. There was the highly suspect charge under the 200 plus year old “Logan” act and attempts to charge both Flynn and his son of “illegal lobbying.” Manafort was similarly leveraged on old money laundering and other charges. Pappadopoulis was tagged with “lying.” Then there are the legions of others threatened and coerced by the special counsel in an attempt to build a case for Trump-Russia coordination.

    Little by little the narratives are falling apart. Timelines disintegrate as evidence suggests that the Obama administration identified Page and Manafort as Trump-Russia connections in the early spring of 2016. We now know that the FBI used “human assets” to bait Pappadopoulis and Page into action. I believe that the Trump Tower meeting with DT Jr. was also orchestrated to similarly bait the Republican candidate’s son into incriminating the campaign. He rejected her overtures. We are starting to find the fingerprints that show that this “investigation” was indeed a conspiracy hatched early on and run, at least initially, buy the Obama administration with the former president fully informed and in charge. New emails more than suggest that the POTUS was “running” an (the) investigation, and that the POTUS wanted to know exactly what the FBI agents involved were doing and learning.

    I do not see an impeachment in Trump’s future. But I do see a POTUS in need of a pardon.

    • #6
    • May 24, 2018, at 7:57 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Ruthenian Member

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):
    As for his free travel to and from Russia, no doubt the Russians found him more useful as a Russia sympathizer and a facilitator of deals (Russia is a corrupt kleptocracy after all). And he is a US citizen. So one Russian spy went to jail and two others were ordered to leave the US and never return; cost of doing business.

    I have been a fan of Viktor Suvorov. In his book “Aquarium” – highly recommended, he described – among other things – how GRU developed/recruited foreign assets. It was eye opening when I read it for the first time. It probably is standard spycraft of intelligence agencies, but to uninitiated it it is quite revealing.

    • #7
    • May 24, 2018, at 9:09 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Front Seat Cat Member

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Putin is a thug but we deal with lots of thugs. He has serious problems with Russia and, as John McCain of all people once said, “Russia is a gas station with a foreign policy.” Why not engage and see what we can accomplish ? Obama was perfectly willing to engage our sworn enemy, Iran. This is all after-the-fact stuff by Clinton and the DNC.

    At least Putin won his fixed election.

    with a gas station and nukes….

    • #8
    • May 24, 2018, at 11:03 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Profile Photo Member

    Ruthenian (View Comment):
    I have been a fan of Viktor Suvorov. In his book “Aquarium” – highly recommended, he described – among other things – how GRU developed/recruited foreign assets.

    I read it years ago and had forgotten. As I recall, he defected to the British as he thought the Americans were not as smart.

    • #9
    • May 24, 2018, at 11:18 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Profile Photo Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    with a gas station and nukes….

    I wonder how their maintenance has been since 1991? Ours has not been too good but I really wonder about theirs.

    • #10
    • May 24, 2018, at 11:19 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. DonG Coolidge

    My favorite part is that Page was offered 19% of Gasprom for being a go-between. That is $10B to $50B. That is a stupid, insane amount of money that surely somebody would notice. Wow! Look! Some Trump consultant just bought an island with cash. Silly. That they FBI would claim the guy as a reason to get FISA warrants is total B.S. as he was a known commodity.

    • #11
    • May 24, 2018, at 4:29 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Steve C. Member

    Doug Kimball: It may well have been just Obama sneaking a Kool out in the Rose Garden.

    Hey, it’s hard to quit. I should know, I’ve done it many times.

    • #12
    • May 24, 2018, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Ruthenian Member

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Ruthenian (View Comment):
    I have been a fan of Viktor Suvorov. In his book “Aquarium” – highly recommended, he described – among other things – how GRU developed/recruited foreign assets.

    I read it years ago and had forgotten. As I recall, he defected to the British as he thought the Americans were not as smart.

    YouTube has a video of Polish-language film based on the book. It has English subtitles and is actually a pretty good adaptation. He did defect to the Brits, but I do not recall whether he said why…

    • #13
    • May 24, 2018, at 6:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. RufusRJones Member

    Doug Kimball: We know that Obama officials contemplated, but did not provide, the Trump Campaign with a heads-up in either case. Instead, they went in a different, more convenient, direction.

    This is outrageous. 

     

    • #14
    • May 25, 2018, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. RufusRJones Member

    I still don’t get all of the derision or whatever of Carter Page. All of this stuff about him being odd or not so bright. I don’t get it.

    • #15
    • May 25, 2018, at 7:00 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Steve C. Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: We know that Obama officials contemplated, but did not provide, the Trump Campaign with a heads-up in either case. Instead, they went in a different, more convenient, direction.

    This is outrageous.

     

    It is. And what has goes unremarked, WHO made the decision to initiate the investigations, rather than sit down with the candidate. Obama? One of his minions?

    I haven’t read of anyone asking this question. 

    • #16
    • May 25, 2018, at 7:15 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Judge Mental Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: We know that Obama officials contemplated, but did not provide, the Trump Campaign with a heads-up in either case. Instead, they went in a different, more convenient, direction.

    This is outrageous.

    It is. And what has goes unremarked, WHO made the decision to initiate the investigations, rather than sit down with the candidate. Obama? One of his minions?

    I haven’t read of anyone asking this question.

    The decision not to do the ‘defensive briefing’ was made in a group called something like the National Security Council Principals Committee. This includes DOJ, FBI, DNI, NSA, State, National Security Advisor, Ambassador to the UN. Basically every single group that’s been connected to this mess. It exists specifically to advise the president on national security matters, so guess who else that involves.

    • #17
    • May 25, 2018, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. RufusRJones Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    It exists specially to advise the president on national security matters, so guess who else that involves.

    LOL 

    • #18
    • May 25, 2018, at 7:36 AM PDT
    • Like
  19. Profile Photo Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    All of this stuff about him being odd or not so bright. I don’t get it.

    I don’t either. If I was approached by the FSB, or even the CIA, I might think acting dumb was pretty smart.

     

    He graduated from the Naval Academy, probably much higher in his class than John McCain.

    • #19
    • May 25, 2018, at 10:25 AM PDT
    • 3 likes