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US officials reportedly believe Russian operatives attempted to use advisors in Donald Trump's campaign staff, including Carter Page, to infiltrate the campaign, according to CNN. Page denies the news.
Carter Page denies report he was a source for Russia in campaign: "they didn't 'infiltrate' anything with me, nor influence me in any way."— Kristen Welker (@kwelkernbc) April 21, 2017
The report makes it clear Page may not have known the Russians were trying to use him.
Page has reportedly been a subject of interest for the FBI dating back at least four years; a formal investigation, per the report, started after Page's controversial trip to Russia in the spring of 2016.
In a statement provided to CNN on Friday afternoon, Page, a former Trump advisor, denied any wrongdoing, and insists his communication with Russian officials was meant to benefit the United States.
"My assumption throughout the last 26 years I've been going there has always been that any Russian person might share information with the Russian government," Page said, "as I have similarly done with the CIA, the FBI and other government agencies in the past."
One potential issue for Trump: how Page's story diverges from the one being told by officials within Trump's campaign team. Despite campaign officials denying Page's influence and suggesting he played a "junior role" within the campaign, Page recently wrote a letter to the House Intelligence committee offering to testify on the ongoing investigation. In that letter, he hinted at a much bigger role during his time alongside Trump.
"I have frequently dined in Trump Grill, had lunch in Trump Cafe, had coffee meetings in the Starbucks at Trump Tower, attended events and spent many hours in campaign headquarters on the fifth floor last year," Page said.
This new report is just the latest development in the ongoing investigation of Russia's attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election in America.