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Report: Intelligence officials probing Trump adviser’s ties to Russia

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U.S. intelligence officials are looking into a Donald Trump foreign policy adviser over possible ties to Russia, Yahoo News reported Friday.

{mosads}Carter Page, who was included on a list of foreign policy advisers that the GOP presidential nominee released in March, is a former banker with Merrill Lynch based in Moscow and has extensive business ties in Russia.

Intelligence officials are reportedly probing whether Page has opened up private lines of communications with top Russian officials, including talks about potentially lifting economic sanctions.

According to multiple sources briefed on the issue, Page’s Russian dealings have been the topic of congressional briefings. 

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reportedly wrote a letter to FBI Director James Comey after one of the briefings this summer about reports of Page meeting with “high ranking sanctioned individuals” in Moscow, asking for an investigation and calling the meetings evidence of “significant and disturbing ties” between the campaign and the Kremlin.

Top Democrats in the House have similarly asked the FBI to investigate whether any Trump aides played a hand in the widespread hack of Democratic groups, largely attributed to Russia. 

One congressional source told Yahoo that U.S. officials said the reports were being “actively monitored and investigated.”

In August, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told Reuters that Page is an “informal adviser,” but another spokesman, Steven Cheung, told The Hill Friday that Page has “no role.”

Asked about the Yahoo report, Trump’s communications director Jason Miller told The Hill that Page has “never been a part of our campaign. Period.”

“Mr. Page is not an advisor and has made no contribution to the campaign,” he said. “I’ve never spoken to him, and wouldn’t recognize him if he were sitting next to me.”

When asked why Page has been characterized as an adviser in the past, Miller did not respond.
In a statement, Hillary Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin said the report was “chilling.” 

“We’ve never seen anything like this in American politics. Every day seems to cast new doubts on what’s truly driving Donald Trump’s decision-making: the interests of the American people or his own bottom line,” the statement read. “He needs to immediately disclose the full extent of his business relationships and foreign assets so the voters can make that determination for themselves.”

Tags Donald Trump Harry Reid Hillary Clinton

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