July 19, 2018

Carter Page, a former adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, called for a “spy swap” between the U.S. and Russia two days before President Vladimir Putin suggested it.

At a summit with Trump on July 16, Putin said that he would allow American investigators to interview 12 Russians accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee if the U.S. government would turn over anti-Putin activist Bill Browder, a British citizen, and other Americans who supported Hillary Clinton.

Browder has been a thorn in Putin’s side since he helped pass the Magnitsky Act, which levies sanctions against Russia and other countries that violate human rights.

Two days before Putin had suggested the trade, Page called for a similar “spy swap.”

“Is any swap possible now?” he asked, arguing that Russia could trade the 12 accused hackers for U.S. “[i]ntel assets who damaged democracy by injecting @DNC / DOJ Dodgy Dossier lies that led to illegal hacking.”

“Or at least an info swap?” he added.

During the 2016 campaign, Page became a target of U.S. investigators due to his connections to Russia. He was also named in the infamous Steele dossier, which alleged contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Clinton, the former Democratic nominee, has said it is “deeply troubling” that the Trump administration has not objected to allowing the Kremlin to interview Browder and other Americans.

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