Carter Page’s Testimony

Carter Page’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee was released last night. I gave it a quick read and produced a Twitter thread as I read through it. So did several others. Here’s the start of my thread.

 For those of you who have watched Page’s interviews on television, there’s nothing new about his manner. He says that he doesn’t want to be misunderstood approximately every other sentence, and that he is telling the truth, because why would he do anything else. He did not have a lawyer with him.

In substance, it’s hard to interpret most of what he says because he gives three or four answers to everything, some word salad, some irrelevant, some contradictory. You can see the committee members becoming irritated at times. The discussions of the Fifth Amendment and why (or whether) he invoked it are something else.

A few things come through fairly clearly: The Russians paid for his trip to Moscow in July 2016. He describes what looks like Podobnyy’s recruitment of him for spying. Committee members were well prepared and asked good questions.

Most of it needs much more attention before I’d conclude anything more. Be careful of commentary on it today. What I saw last night on Twitter looked like there will be some overinterpretation. I’m going to compare it with the Steele dossier, which is my current big project anyway.

60 replies
  1. 1

    Thought I’d front page this so we have a separate thread. GOTV is too important to be derailed.

  2. 2
    Aexia says:

    Also worth checking out the part where he claims he went to Russia in December 2016 because he received death threats as a result of the Steele dossier.

    The Steele dossier was released in January 2017.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    raven says:

    @Quinerly: Whatcha been doing?

  5. 5
    dr. bloor says:

    I suspect Carter’s “legal team” consists of his DVD collection of “Perry Mason.”

  6. 6
    MJS says:

    Trump and/or Huckabee-Sanders – “Who? Carter somebody? Jimmy Carter? YES, terrible President. Not surprised he was colluding with the Russians. ”

    Media – “Explosive new allegations about Jimmy Carter. We’ll have 3 Republicans on to discuss them.”

  7. 7
    Ben Cisco says:

    @dr. bloor: I was leaning more toward the Futurama collection myself.

  8. 8
    Mystical Chick says:

    @sethabramson is doing an amazing job of parsing the word salad that is Carter Page’s testimony. I’d recommend checking him out on the Twitters for a clear, concise understanding of what’s happening.

  9. 9
    JMG says:

    I am convinced that Mueller is letting Page run around loose so as to see what he stirs up. Page would confess to the Lindbergh kidnapping if he thought it’d get him on TV.

  10. 10

    What’s with this guy? Every time I see him, he seems like there’s something wrong with him. I guess that makes him a great fit for Trump’s campaign. I’m amazed Trump didn’t appoint him secretary of defense or something.

  11. 11
    laura says:

    @Quinerly: is it just me, or does this seem like the biggest gaggle of moops and unsophisticats to come rolling off the idjit assembly line?
    Jumped-up self-important hayseed traitorous fuckups when paid even the slightest attention to by foreign business interests.
    Please tell me I’ve misinterpreted this because every time I see Page, Clovis, Lewandowski, Miller and any common Trump I do not see even the slightest bit of enough sense to come in out of the rain.

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    Could it be that, in deciding what he was going to say, Carter Page went against the legal advice he got? If so, and this is my speculation, his legal team might be staying away rather than sign off on a self-inflicted disaster.

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    @laura: It’s not just you — excellent description of that pack of cocksplats!

  14. 14

    @laura: It’s very much not just you. What is it Kay always says? Bad hires make bad hires.

  15. 15
    martian says:

    The more you hear from these (R)ussian operatives, the more they sound like complete dipshits. I mean, this guy? THIS guy?! He gets to be a player? This wasn’t even shooting fish in a barrel for the Russians, more like scooping goldfish out of their bowl to reel in these easy marks.

    It used to be that the Republicans were conmen working their voter marks, but they seem to be all marks, all the way down, now, from DOLTUS right through to the common clay of the New West.

  16. 16
    rikyrah says:

    Once again…ask yourself the simple question…

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    At least nine people in Trump’s orbit had contact with Russians during campaign and transition
    By Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Carol D. Leonnig
    November 5 at 10:50 PM

    After questions emerged about whether campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page had ties to Russia, President Trump called him a “very low-level member” of a committee and said that “I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to him.”

    When it was revealed that his son met with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower, the president told reporters that “zero happened from the meeting” and that “the press made a very big deal over something that really a lot of people would do.”

    And, last week, with the revelation that adviser George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his efforts to arrange meetings between Moscow and the Trump campaign, the president derided him as a “low-level volunteer.”

    While Trump has sought to dismiss these Russia ties as insignificant, or characterized the people involved in them as peripheral figures, it has now become clear that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III views at least some of them as important pieces of his sprawling investigation of Russian meddling in last year’s presidential campaign.


    In all, documents and interviews show there are at least nine Trump associates who had contacts with Russians during the campaign or presidential transition. Some are well-known, and others, such as Papadopoulos, have been more on the periphery.

  17. 17
    Quinerly says:

    NC for about a month….trying to finish up clearing out the house I grew up in. 6 trips there since my mom’s death 2 years ago. This trip was a paper handling bonanza…. family letters, papers going back to the 1800’s. Overwhelming trip with breaks for Poco and me at Bogue Banks. I’m very lucky to have that place as a refuge b/c the house is a very depressing place. Just got back Saturday. Now back on the build out for the Air BnB apartment going into my lower level walk out here in Soulard. NM bound middle of January. When’s your next trip and to where?

  18. 18

    @Mystical Chick: Abramson is too quick to jump to conclusions for my taste. I think that many of Page’s multiple answers simply can’t be parsed with any confidence.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:


    @Quinerly: is it just me, or does this seem like the biggest gaggle of moops and unsophisticats to come rolling off the idjit assembly line?

    They all believe that they’re the smartest people in the room. And, think that this act is gonna get over on Bobby Three Sticks.

  20. 20
    rikyrah says:

    Syria has reportedly signed the Paris Climate Accord.

    The U.S. is now the only nation in the world not in the deal.

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 7, 2017

  21. 21
    Quinerly says:

    @laura: And now it is rumored that Devos is resigning.

  22. 22
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @laura: @Betty Cracker: Moops, cocksplats….I love how this site expands my vocabulary! All the best words.

  23. 23

    @JMG: Page was asked if he’s talked to the special counsel. He refused to answer. He gave a number of definitive “no’s,” so I think we can figure out what that means.

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    Trump World’s dishonesty about its Russia contacts matters
    11/06/17 04:35 PM
    By Steve Benen


    As regular readers know, Trump World told the public repeatedly, over the course of several months, that there were no communications between the Trump campaign and Russia during Russia’s attack on the American elections. It’s one of the most dramatic falsehoods Team Trump pushed as the scandal unfolded.

    Indeed, just a few days before Inauguration Day, for example, CBS’s John Dickerson asked Mike Pence, “Did any adviser or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?”

    The vice president-elect responded at the time, “Of course not.”

    This wasn’t an isolated incident. As we discussed in February, when reports first surfaced that Russia was in talks with Team Trump during Russia’s election crimes, the response from the Republican camp was categorical: those communications simply did not happen. Even after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov acknowledged that “there were contacts” between the Russian government and Trump’s campaign team ahead of Nov. 8, Team Trump kept insisting otherwise.

    Indeed, Trump and his aides left no wiggle room on the subject. Kellyanne Conway, asked about the possibility of these communications between the Republican campaign and Russians, said, “Absolutely not.” She added the conversations “never happened” and any suggestions to the contrary “undermine our democracy.”

    At a pre-inaugural press conference, Donald Trump himself said no one from his team was in contact with Russians during the campaign. During his tenure, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also denied the communications.


    The second angle is the odd attempt to move the goalposts. From the Washington Post article:

    Trump in the past denied that he or his associates communicated with Russia during the campaign. Now, he and his allies are seeking to minimize the importance of the contacts that have emerged.

    “I think the American public can fully appreciate that those are isolated, obviously disconnected events, quite small in number for a presidential campaign,” said Ty Cobb, a White House lawyer. “Nothing about the actual facts published to date suggests that the president while he was a candidate ever met a Russian, ever spoke to a Russian, or colluded with anybody.”

  25. 25
  26. 26
    rikyrah says:

    Trump fails to act on gun violence mental illness concerns
    Rachel Maddow points out that while Donald Trump is quick to concoct his own diagnosis of the latest mass killing shooter as mentally ill, his actions in office so far show a disregard for mental illness and gun ownership.

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Quinerly: Sadly, those rumors appear to be untrue, according to a couple of reliable left-ish journos I follow on Twitter.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    Upheaval in Saudi Arabia with Trump approval could mark new era
    Rachel Maddow describes the series of remarkable events over the weekend in Saudi Arabia which saw several Saudi princes locked up and one dead.

  29. 29
    martian says:

    @laura: Yes, they are! That’s it exactly! These dumbass mopes are the masters of the universe? WTF?!

    God, how did we lose to them? How does anybody without a gun to their heads actually vote for these numbnuts?

  30. 30
    rikyrah says:

    Secret papers show Trump cabinet member’s Russia business ties
    Rachel Maddow explains the revelation of the weekend in the Paradise Papers that Donald Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, retains a stake in a company that does business with people connected to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    Russian lawyer: Trump Jr offered potential deal for Clinton dirt
    Henry Meyer, senior government reporter based on Moscow for Bloomberg News, talks with Rachel Maddow about his interview with Natalia Veselnitskaya and her claim that Donald Trump Jr. offered a potential deal on Russian sanctions in exchange for Hillary Clinton information.

  32. 32
    rikyrah says:

    Carter Page named Trump staffers he told about Russian contacts
    Rachel Maddow shares a passage from the House Intelligence Committee of former Donald Trump advisor Carter Page in which he tells members of the committee which high ranking Trump officials he told about his contacts with Russians.

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    If The Trump-GOP Tax Plan Passes, Kiss Your Home’s Equity Goodbye

    The Trump-GOP tax plan is a declaration of war on homeowners, homebuilders, realtors, and the mortgage industry.

    NOVEMBER 06, 2017
    by Bob Lord

    Make no mistake: The Trump-GOP tax plan is a declaration of war on homeowners, homebuilders, realtors, and the mortgage industry. With seven different provisions that will put pressure on home values, it’s hard to imagine that the plan will not cause a crash in the housing market.

    Here are those seven provisions:

    One: The plan raises the threshold for deducting home mortgage interest. By nearly doubling the standard deduction, the plan reduces the amount by which mortgage interest and property taxes, when combined with other itemized deductions, will translate into a reduction in taxable income.

    Two: The plan eliminates other itemized deductions, most notably state and local income taxes. That reduces the amount by which mortgage interest, property taxes, and the other few remaining itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction. The net effect is a further reduction in the tax benefit associated with home mortgage interest and property taxes.

    Three: The plan cuts in half the maximum mortgage loan on which interest is deductible at all. The impact of this at the higher end of the housing market will be immediate and potentially devastating, as it could increase the annual after-tax cost of home ownership by 50%. The middle and lower end of the market will feel the effect as well, as the market softening at the top cascades down to the lower levels.

    Four: The plan eliminates entirely the deduction for mortgage interest on a second residence. The markets in vacation and snowbird communities could see immediate softness because of this.

    Five: The plan moves the goalpost for avoiding tax on the gain from selling a personal residence. Under current law, homeowners who sell after two-years of occupancy avoid tax on up to $500,000 of gain for a married couple. Under the Trump-GOP plan, anyone who sells before living in a house for five years will not qualify for the gain exclusion. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 26% of homebuyers, and 28% of first-time homebuyers, move out before the end of five years.

    Six: The plan will phase out the benefit of the exclusion from income for gain on the sale of a personal residence for those with higher incomes.

    Seven: President Trump’s plan includes a special low maximum tax rate of 25% for certain types of income, including income from housing rentals. Because it’s the after-tax return that matters to an investor, owners of rental housing will be able to offer lower rates to renters, which will mean the cost of renting will decrease relative to the cost of owning. While this change also could mean investors will be willing to pay more for housing units, it’s not likely to help homeowners, because there is limited overlap between the markets for rental housing (think apartments) and owner-occupied housing.

    So, if the Trump-GOP tax plan passes, how soon will we see it reflected in home prices?

    Bob Lord is a veteran tax lawyer who practices and blogs in Phoenix, Arizona. He’s an associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies.

  34. 34
    laura says:

    @Quinerly: oh great, now watch Michelle Rhee and Kevin Johnson come rushing back for some of that sweet, sweet grift.
    And can I just say, I’ve never been more disappointed to not be wrong abut the Ruskie-loving claque. I was hoping at least one of you would set me straight.

  35. 35
    Quinerly says:

    @Betty Cracker: I didn’t see her giving up that easily but I guess we can hope. I don’t see her lasting an entire term, though.

  36. 36
    rikyrah says:

    A Year after his election, Trump faces historically weak support
    11/07/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump told reporters the other day that he considered hosting a celebration to honor the one-year anniversary of his surprise election victory, before ultimately deciding against it.

    Given the latest evidence, 364 days after Trump stunned the world, that was probably one of his smartest decisions to date. Because at this point, as Americans take stock of this bizarre presidency, much of the country doesn’t appear to be in a celebrating mood.

    A majority of Americans say President Trump has not accomplished much during his first nine months in office and they have delivered a report card that is far harsher even than the tepid expectations they set for his tenure when he was sworn into office, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News survey.

    Approaching the first anniversary of his victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, Trump has an approval rating demonstrably lower than any previous chief executive at this point in his presidency over seven decades of polling. Fewer than 4 in 10 Americans – 37 percent – say they approve of the way he is handling his job.

    The historical context matters: since the advent on modern polling, no president has struggled this severely to earn public support one year after his election. Indeed, several modern presidents never saw their support drop to Trump-like depths, even after years in office.

  37. 37

    @Cheryl Rofer: I got the same feeling, when a friend forwarded a 100 tweeter thread by him with 100 tweets. I lost track after about tweet #10. Good to see that you came to the same conclusion.
    How are the kittehs?

  38. 38

    @schrodingers_cat: The kittehs are fine. Pic in an open thread downstairs.

  39. 39

    @Cheryl Rofer: The linen closet picture or did you put up something after that?

  40. 40
    Ben Cisco says:

    Tried reading some of the Page stuff, and all I’ve got to say is: Somebody come get your mans.

  41. 41
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Here’s some stuff that happened in the last 24 hours or so…


    holy moly! my husband & i were just talking about how both of us separately received emails from GOP today & yesterday out of the blue!


    Reporters should be following this closely. It would appear the RNC has acquired a vast amount of Democratic email addresses.


    On Tuesday, we’ll be joined by DNC chair @TomPerez and @OurRevolution president @ninaturner on DNC ‘rigging’ claims

    And Donna Brazile was on Tucker Carlson’s show.

    The amount of ratfucking is something to behold.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    clay says:

    And Donna Brazile was on Tucker Carlson’s show.

    There’s no reason for any liberal/progressive/Democrat of good conscience to go on his show. Unless, of course, she’s selling a book to his audience. But there’s no reason for any liberal/progressive/Democrat of good conscience to sell anything to Tucker Carlson’s audience. Because anything that appeals to his audience is going to be harmful to liberal/progressive/Democratic causes. Donna.

  44. 44

    @Cheryl Rofer: I saw it, kitteh is full of win and awesome. Bosscat loves to do that ,nestle among clothes on the top shelf in the closet.

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @clay: That audience is not going to buy her book. They are going to retweet or Facebook the excerpts they want to use/distort. One Fox intern will read it and type all the worst bits and that will be echoed forevermore.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: I’ve seen the bit about GOP emailing Democratic voters, but not sure how this is necessarily ratfucking?
    I mean, I get they are trying to jack with D’s somehow but isn’t it just like running negative campaign ads in a targeted voting area?

  47. 47
    The Moar You Know says:

    And Donna Brazile was on Tucker Carlson’s show.

    The amount of ratfucking is something to behold.

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: Don’t know what they ended up paying for her but she is giving great bang for the buck.

    Goddamn traitor.

  48. 48
    clay says:

    @Corner Stone: That audience will buy whatever the host tells them to. The Fox News junkies aren’t known for their independent thought. I used to work in a bookstore, and we could tell whenever a title had been promo’d recently. (Ditto for Oprah’s show, though obviously the audience was different.)

  49. 49
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Corner Stone: How exactly would they get the email addresses of Democratic voters? That is the question.

  50. 50
    Yarrow says:

    @The Moar You Know: I don’t know what happened to Donna Brazile. Even if I didn’t agree what she did or didn’t think she was all that competent, I never thought she’d turn on the party. Maybe she was always a traitor.

    Add in the David Boies news that dropped today and WTF with these connections to Al Gore? Makes my head spin.

  51. 51
    Shana says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: I got an email yesterday too. Clicked through with a fake name and email I rarely use but accurate address to see if they’d direct me to the correct polling place. They did.

  52. 52
    germy says:

    @Corner Stone: Where did they get the email addresses? If I send a donation to the Democrats, I expect a ton of emails from the Democrats. I don’t expect emails from the GOP.

    One’s physical street address is public info, but not one’s email address.

  53. 53
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Betty Cracker: Wishful thinking?

  54. 54
    germy says:

    A millennium from now in the ruins of human civilization the only voices will be two Democrat holograms arguing about the 2016 primary— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) November 4, 2017

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:


    God, how did we lose to them? How does anybody without a gun to their heads actually vote for these numbnuts?

    They won because they cheated. It’s as simple and as frustrating as that.

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:


    That just confirms for me my existing suspicion that the Russians reeled the Trumpistas in by claiming to have dirt on Hillary that doesn’t actually exist but that 20+ years of Fox News propaganda primed them to believe.

  57. 57
    charon says:


    Maybe just an unscrupulous me-first person?

    If she wants her book to sell, it needs to stir some sht to be interesting.

    If she wants people to be aware of it, the days just before an election are when people are more interested in things political.

  58. 58
    No Drought No More says:

    According to Wiki, Page graduated in the top ten percentile at Annapolis. He’s no dummy. And I fully credit his fears as reasonable. Bill Casey died in a hospital bed surrounded by MD’s, too, and I doubt any one of them suggested his ears be looked at closely for signs of the puncture wound from the needle that killed him.

  59. 59
    opiejeanne says:

    @No Drought No More: What’s this about Bill Casey? Are you talking about William Casey, head of the CIA? He died of a brain tumor, according to what I can find.

  60. 60
    TenguPhule says:

    States will be allowed to impose Medicaid work requirements, top federal official says

    Not the Onion.

    The government will give states broader leeway in running their Medicaid programs and allow them to impose work requirements on enrollees, a top federal health official said Tuesday in outlining how the Trump administration plans to put its mark on the insurance program for low-income Americans.

    Seema Verma, who heads the Health and Human Services Department’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, did not spare criticisms of the Obama administration and called its opposition to work requirements “soft bigotry.”

    “Believing that community engagement requirements do not support the objectives of Medicaid is a tragic example of the soft bigotry of low expectations consistently espoused by the prior administration,” Verma said in a sweeping address to the National Association of Medicaid Directors. “Those days are over.”

    The speech was Verma’s most detailed public explanation of how she plans to approach Medicaid in a highly politicized era in which Republicans still hope to roll back its expansion under the Affordable Care Act as well as enact future spending cuts through their various health-care bills.

    The program’s chief problems, according to Verma, include the expansion to add able-bodied adults and overall costs, which now comprise 29 percent of total state spending. She also faulted the federal government for requiring too much reporting from states and for delaying approval of states’ waiver requests to run their programs in alternative ways.

    Multiple times throughout her half-hour speech, she used the phrase “card without care” to make her point that simply enrolling people in Medicaid isn’t effective if they can’t find a doctor who will accept them — an ongoing problem with the program because its reimbursements are lower than for Medicare or private coverage.

    “We fail to live up to that promise when Medicaid merely provides a card without care,” she said. “And that’s why we’re ushering in a new era for Medicaid at CMS.”

    If they can’t smash down the front door, they’ll try and break in through a window.

    Anything to make medical care for the non-wealthy just that much harder to find.

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