Speed Reads

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In a 2013 letter, Carter Page bragged about his contacts in the Kremlin

In a 2013 letter obtained by Time, Carter Page, an energy consultant and former campaign adviser to President Trump, boasted that he served as an adviser to the Kremlin.

There have been many questions raised about Page and how deep his ties are with the Russian government. An editor who worked with Page on an unpublished manuscript he submitted to an academic press told Time that Page was frustrated over edits to the article, and in a letter sent Aug. 25, 2013, he wrote, "over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal adviser to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda."

The controversial "Nunes memo" — written by staffers of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and released last week despite objections by the FBI, Justice Department, and Democrats — centers around Page, claiming that in 2016, the FBI improperly received FISA court permission to spy on Page. Detractors of the memo say it cherry-picks information about what documentation the FBI presented the FISA court. The FBI interviewed Page in 2013 about his contacts with Russians; Page told Time his meetings have always been "really plain, vanilla stuff."

Page has admitted that a Russian diplomat named Victor Podobnyy, who was charged in absentia of working as a Russian intelligence agent under diplomatic cover, attempted to recruit him, and court documents from 2015 show that the FBI believed Russian intelligence agents had promised Page they would help him with business opportunities in Russia. He has not been charged with any crimes.