Carter Page, the former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump, currently under investigation by the FBI on suspicion of illegal communication with Putin officals, came back to Russia’s capital to give a talk.
On Monday, Mr. Page gave a lecture at the state run Rossiya Segodnya news agency titled ‘Departing from hypocrisy: potential strategies in the era of global economic stagnation, security threats and fake news.’ In this lecture Page blamed America for “arrogant foreign policies” towards Russia, talked about “restoration” of the U.S.-Russia relationship under Donald Trump, and expressed his excitement for Exxonmobile CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
“One of the big news issues and something people are keeping an eye for, and something that will be very important as we watch the new administration develop, who will be our new secretary of state.”
Even though Donald Trump had not yet announced his pick to America, Page presented a slide during his presentation in Moscow, in which Rex Tillerson was compared next to Hillary Clinton under the headline ” First Secretaries of State for New U.S. Presidents”.
Page listed side by side the “accomplishments” of Hillary Clinton, who he said has “a very long negative track record in the U.S.” and those of Rex Tillerson.
Clinton was noted by Page for what he said was her “de facto order of Mutual Distrust [with Russia],” supporting NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, supporting NATO’s expansion, and as Secretary of State “meddling in Russia’s 2011 elections.”
Tillerson’s “accomplishments”, on the other hand, Page listed as various oil projects in Russia – and the award of the Order of Friendship presented to him by Putin.
“I am really personally excited about Rex Tillerson being awarded the Order of Friendship by Vladimir Putin, the many joint ventures he worked to create in Kara Sea, Black Sea, and the list goes on,” Page said.
Page, who himself worked for Russian Gazprom back in the 90s, and was a foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign until September, claimed that he is not part of the President’s elect transition team.
“I am not directly involved in the transition, but I have talked to various people,” Page said.
Page, whose stated reason for the visit to Moscow was meetings with “businessmen and thought leaders” also said that his personal objective in the years to come was to push forward a new era of U.S.-Russia relations. Sputnik, the Russian state news agency, said that “thought leaders” could mean “government officials”.
A slide presented by Carter Page on Monday in Moscow:
Questions may be asked in the US Senate as to how Mr. Page, a man under FBI investigation, was told who the Secretary of State would be and announced it to Russia before Mr. Trump announced it to America.
Senators will also be concerned at Mr. Page attacking NATO. Paul Ryan and other Republican leaders have expressed the strongest possible support for NATO and are unlikely to allow Mr. Trump to change American policy on support for the alliance, or to pass any anti-NATO measures through Congress.