November 7, 2017

More pieces of Christopher Steele's Russia dossier were verified last night by the release of the transcript of Carter Page's House intelligence committee testimony.

Page's strange, meandering narrative baffled a lot of reporters -- but not Natasha Bertrand, who works for Business Insider. Check out her story, in which she connected these important dots:

Page revealed during his testimony that he met with both members of Russia's presidential administration and with the head of investor relations at the state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft during his trip to Moscow last July.

He also congratulated members of the Trump campaign's foreign policy team on July 14 for their "excellent work" on the "Ukraine amendment" — a reference to the Trump campaign's decision to "intervene" to water down a proposed amendment to the GOP's Ukraine platform.

The original amendment proposed that the GOP commit to sending "lethal weapons" to the Ukrainian army to fend off Russian aggression. But it was ultimately altered to say "provide appropriate assistance" before it was included in the party's official platform. The dossier alleges that the campaign "agreed to sideline" the issue of Russia's invasion of Crimea and interference in eastern Ukraine in exchange for dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Page also revealed that Trump campaign adviser Sam Clovis had asked him to sign a non-disclosure agreement upon joining the campaign — and that he discussed his July Moscow trip with Clovis both before he went and after he returned.

And yes, Page was offered the brokerage of a 19% stake in the Rosneft energy company in exchange for the lifting of sanctions -- as reported by Christopher Steele.

There is no evidence that Page played any role in the Rosneft deal. But Page returned to Moscow one day after the Rosneft deal was signed on December 8 to "meet with some of the top managers" of Rosneft, he told reporters at the time. Page denied meeting with Sechin, Rosneft's CEO, during that trip, but he said it would have been "a great honor" if he had.

From there, Page traveled to London, where he met with his "old friend" Sergey Yatsenko — a former mid-level Gazprom executive — to discuss "some opportunities in Kazakhstan."

Asked whether he had ever met the overseas professor who told Papadopoulos about the Kremlin's dossier of incriminating Clinton emails, Joseph Misfud, Page at first said "No."

But he then seemed to backtrack: "I — you know, there may have been a greeting," he said. "I have no recollection of ever interacting with him in any way, shape or form...I have no personal relationship with him."

We now know that despite Page's previous testimony, the Russians actually paid for his trip. And the Trump campaign knew about it.

Sam Clovis not only knew about the trip, he made Page sign a non-disclosure agreement. So Clovis is in trouble -- and so is Corey Lewandowski, who also knew.

And that Ukraine amendment is the RNC platform is looking more and more like a quid pro quo.

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