Schiff says Trump aims to disparage Russian Federation probe

Ivanka Trump left adviser to and daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend a meeting of the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo Friday Nov. 3 2017

One of the members of the Trump campaign to come under scrutiny of the Russian Federation election interference investigation, volunteer Carter Page, testified to a House committee that he sought permission from senior campaign officials for a July 2016 trip to Moscow, NBC News reported.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee says President Donald Trump is trying to "disparage" the FBI and congressional investigations into Russian election meddling.

Page said Trump advisers were aware of his July trip to Russian Federation, including Gordon, Corey Lewandowski and Hope Hicks, who now serves as the White House communications director.

In his testimony, Page said he has been interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Russian Federation and the election four or five times this year. Then-Senator Sessions, serving as chairman of the campaign's national security team, also attended this meeting, sitting just a few seats away from Papadopoulos.

Page says he had no personal information about Russian election interference.

The answer to that seemingly unimportant question is suddenly a key element of the deepening scandal surrounding the campaign's contacts with Russia, following revelations that one member of the team, George Papadopoulos, communicated with Russians connected to the Kremlin.

In testimony made public on Monday, Page initially said he did not meet with any senior Russian officials during a trip in July 2016 but later said he "briefly" greeted Russian deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich, and saw him again at a dinner in December 2016.

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In his July 2016 note, Page wrote that Dvorkovich had "expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to a vast range of current global problems".

The New York Times first reported that Page notified campaign officials about his meetings in Moscow, but the transcript, which is more than 200 pages long, discloses the names of those advisers - Tera Dahl and J.D. Gordon - and the identity of the Russian official, Dvorkovich.

"I'm telling you that he was a volunteer member of an advisory council that literally met one time", Sanders said during a press briefing on October 30.

He said he was unaware at the time that Papadopoulos was making similar proposals for Trump to travel to Russian Federation, though he acknowledged he had received some of Papadopoulos' emails about Russian Federation.

Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation", Senate intelligence committee ranking Democrat Mark Warner, of Virginia, said he might want to hear more from Sessions.

Page addressed some of the questions about those trips in more than seven hours of testimony last week to the House committee. "Near the end of the dinner, Page approached Sessions to say hello and thanked the then-senator for the dinner, and Page also mentioned he was headed to Russian Federation".

Schiff said it's impossible to say whether Russian interference in the election almost a year ago is the reason Republican Donald Trump won the presidency over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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