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Carter Page dodges questions on Russian meddling but maintains innocence

Carter Page on Russian meddling
Carter Page on Russian meddling 07:03

Carter Page, President Trump's former campaign policy adviser, says that reports on his interactions with Russian entities are "completely false and misleading" but refused to provide a clear answer on whether the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election.

Page, speaking to "CBS This Morning" on Thursday, denied having contacts with any Russian agents, adding that people are "looping in even the Russian media" as foreign agents as more Congressional hearings are conducted.

Page's comments were in response to the Washington Post's past reporting that the FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor Page's communications because the government had reason to believe he was acting as a Russian agent. 

The former foreign policy adviser to then-candidate Trump is among several of Mr. Trump's associates under scrutiny as the FBI and lawmakers continue their probes into Russian meddling in the election as well as any ties to the administration.

Page spoke with CBS News' Jeff Pegues on Wednesday, saying his involvement in the Russian investigation was going to be "an open and shut case."

Page's comments come after Mr. Trump fired off a series of tweets focusing on Page's interest in providing testimony to lawmakers, saying the investigation was a "witch hunt" and that Democrats "excoriated" Page.

Page called the sudden support from Mr. Trump "kind", saying it "really reflects the support he gives to Americans in general." adding: "I wish he didn't have to support me, he's basically sticking up for civil rights."

Mr. Trump also tweeted on Thursday morning that the big story is the "unmasking and surveillance" that "took place during the Obama administration."

Page appeared to echo this sentiment, saying "I think the influence that was taken by the Obama administration had a much bigger impact."

"I see a lot evidence of potential collusion and also influence on the election by false propaganda and false information against attacking me and a lot of people that were supporters of the Trump campaign, which is unfortunate," Page added.

Page also maintained that he had never even met Mr. Trump, reducing his role on the campaign as an  "informal, unpaid volunteer."

"Literally someone who is putting signs on a yard in Idaho did more than I did," Page said. "I was constantly getting badgered by all these fake allegations about my supposed interactions with Russian officials."

Those "supposed interactions" included a meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention. Page claims the meeting was simply a "hello."

"I don't like talking about confidential information, everyone agreed in that meeting it was off the record," he said.

While Page says he is still willing to tell his side of the story before lawmakers,  congressional Russia investigations are moving along as The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday issued seven subpoenas -- including to Michael Flynn and Mr. Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. Cohen told CBS News he plans on cooperating.

Flynn has agreed to hand over some documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee after that committee subpoenaed his records, and fired FBI Director James Comey has spoken with Robert Mueller -- the special counsel in the FBI's Russia investigation -- and is cleared to testify before Congress. Comey is expected to discuss a conversation with Mr. Trump in which the president asked him to drop his investigation into Flynn

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