On PBS NewsHour’s Feb. 15 episode, Carter Page, Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign adviser, categorically denied any contacts with Russian officials.
Nearly 15 days after the PBS interview, Page appeared on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" and suggested he did, in fact, meet with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak at last year's Republican National Convention.
It was a cringe-inducing spectacle, to say the least.
Throughout the interview, Carter maintained an uneasy, forced smile on his face. Initially, he tried to deflect the conversation about a USA Today report on Carter’s and another former Trump adviser, J.D. Gordon’s, communication with Kislyak at an event in Cleveland, during the RNC.
Obviously, Carter’s transparent attempt to ignore Hayes led the host to say that the evasion was only making people more suspicious of the issue at hand.
“There’s this pattern, which you appear to be part of, in which there’s this kind of bizarre disassembling about the basic facts of the matter,” Hayes said. “Do you understand why that reads to people as fishy?”
After some more discomforting back-and-forth, Page finally decided to be somewhat truthful.
"I'm not going to deny that I talked with him," the former Trump adviser finally stated, with the same forced smile on his face. "I will say that I never met him [Kislyak] anywhere outside of Cleveland, let's just say that much.”
And that was that.
In an incredibly twisted manner, Page (sort of) admitted he established contact with Kislyak in Cleveland. He mentioned there was “nothing specific or worth discussing that was brought up at the time,” but that’s another matter entirely.
Page’s confirmation that he did, indeed, met with the Russian official means he lied through his teeth during the PBS interview and also initially during the exchange with Hayes.
To further put things into perspective, Page reportedly owns a stake in Russian oil and gas interests which are worth millions. He has also been a frequent guest on Russian state media.
The Trump Admin can't be thrilled that Carter Page is talking to the press so much.— Josh Barro (@jbarro) March 3, 2017
Breakfast equivalent of Carter Page interview is called toast.— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) March 3, 2017
Investigators should press Carter Page. He strikes me as the kind of guy who'd sing like Adele if he thought it'd get him safety & infamy.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) March 3, 2017
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Sergei Karpukhin