Ex-Trump adviser met Russian spy: report

Ex-Trump adviser met Russian spy: report
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A former adviser to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration MORE’s presidential campaign met a Russian intelligence operative three years before the 2016 race, according to a new report.

Carter Page passed documents to the operative during a 2013 encounter in New York City, BuzzFeed reported Monday.

BuzzFeed said Page met with Victor Podobnyy, a Russian intelligence official whom the U.S. government later charged with acting as an unregistered agent for a foreign government.


The January 2015 charges were filed against Podobnyy and two others after federal investigators busted a Russian spy ring that was seeking information on U.S. sanctions and alternative energy efforts.

Page confirmed to BuzzFeed Monday that he is the person described as “Male-1” in the court filing, which states he encountered Podobnyy at a 2013 energy conference in New York City.

The filing says Page, an energy consultant, then met with, emailed with and “provided documents to [Podobnyy] about the energy business” from January to June of that year.

Page said Podobnyy was working at Moscow’s United Nations office in New York City under diplomatic cover, but was in reality an agent with the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence agency.

BuzzFeed added that FBI counterintelligence agent Gregory Monaghan and another unnamed bureau agent interviewed Page in June 2013 about his interactions with Podobnyy.

Federal investigators ultimately probed Podobnyy, Igor Sporyshev and Evgeny Burayakov for their alleged connections with the suspected Russian spy ring, according to the court filing.

The filing contains a transcript of a recorded conversation between Podobnyy and Sporyshev discussing recruiting “Male-1,” who is now known to be Page.

“[Male-1] wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back,” Podobnyy told Sporyshev while discussing Page. "I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am.”

“He got hooked on Gazprom thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up,” he continued, referencing a Russian energy firm Page reportedly dealt with as a consultant.

“I also promised him a lot ... this is intelligence method to cheat, how else to work with foreigners? You promise a favor for a favor. You get the documents from him and tell him to go f--- himself.”

Page last week denied he acted improperly during his contact with Russian officials during the 2016 race.

“I did nothing that could even be possibly viewed as helping them in any way,” he said in a Fox News interview aired last Friday.

FBI Director James Comey said last week his bureau is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including possible collaboration between Moscow and Trump campaign officials.

The bombshell announcement has brought new scrutiny to Page and other former members of Trump’s election bid with possible Russia ties.