12:59 Sep. 25, 2016
Trump's foreign policy advisor may have been making backroom promises to Moscow to lift some sanctions
U.S. intelligence investigate possible Kremlin ties of Trump's advisor , Molly O'Toole and Elias Groll wrote in the article titled "Trump Advisor Under Investigation for Russia Ties: Report," published in ‘Foreign Policy' on September 24.
"U.S. intelligence officials are investigating whether Carter Page, a businessman described by Donald Trump as a foreign policy advisor, has been making backroom promises to Moscow to lift some sanctions against top Kremlin officials if Trump is elected.
In recent briefings with senior members of Congress about apparent attempts by Moscow to influence the presidential contest between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, intelligence officials have raised concerns about Page's travels to Moscow, according to a Yahoo News report on Friday afternoon. Intelligence officials believe Page has had meetings with Russian officials currently sanctioned by the Treasury Department for involvement in Russia's "illegitimate and unlawful actions in the Ukraine." Many top Kremlin officials and business associates of President Vladimir Putin are in U.S. sanctions crosshairs.
The report is only the latest in a series to suggest that the Trump campaign, and especially his aides, have some bottom-line interest in boosting chummy ties with Moscow. But now, with an ongoing federal investigation, the Page revelations provide the strongest hint yet at negotiations with Russian officials, and drop a bombshell into the 2016 campaign just days ahead of the first presidential debate on Monday.
Trump's campaign did not respond to a request for comment Friday and Page's current role remains unclear.
On Thursday, the ranking members on the House and Senate intelligence committees, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), sharply criticized Moscow for attempting to boost Trump's fortunes.
"We have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election," they wrote. "We believe that orders for the Russian intelligence agencies to conduct such actions could come only from very senior levels of the Russian government."
Their Republican counterparts in Congress have been far more quiet on Trump's friendly stance toward Russia, even as evidence has piled up that hackers working on behalf of Moscow are infiltrating American political groups and posting stolen material online."