While at a diplomacy conference in July connected to the Republican National Convention, two of Donald Trump's national security advisers spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
J.D. Gordon told USA Today he had an "informal conversation" with Kislyak at the Global Partners in Diplomacy event, "just like my interactions with dozens of other ambassadors and senior diplomats in Cleveland." Carter Page told the newspaper he could not disclose what he said to Kislyak because of "confidentiality rules." Page, who left Trump's campaign after taking heat for a speech he gave in Moscow critical of American foreign policy and sanctions against Russia, went on All In with Chris Hayes on Thursday night, and gave a slippery answer when the host asked him if he met and spoke with Kislyak in Cleveland. "I may have met him, possibly, might have been in Cleveland," he said. "I'm respectful to the organizers, I'm respectful of confidentiality rules."
Kislyak, Russia's top diplomat in Washington since 2008, has been popular with people who orbit around Trump — on Wednesday, it was revealed that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with him twice during the campaign while serving as a top foreign policy adviser to Trump, despite saying otherwise during his confirmation hearing, and the White House acknowledged on Thursday he met with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, in December before former President Barack Obama prepared to impose sanctions against Russia for interfering in the presidential election. Trump officials have repeatedly said that during the campaign, there was no contact with any Russian officials.