'I Never Met Him Anywhere Outside of Cleveland': Trump Advisers Spoke with Russian Ambassador During RNC

Carter Page, an apparent one-time adviser to President Donald Trump (during the election campaign), spoke with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the Republican National Convention last summer. It's unclear what precisely came of those conversations, but they're now forming the backbone of a serious push for an inquiry into the administration's communications with Russian politicians prior to the November 2016 election.

The Page headline joins similar news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions misguided U.S. senators while under oath about his own communications with Kislyak during the campaign. At least one of Sessions' conversations with Kislyak took place during the RNC, as well. Whether he was speaking in his capacity as a senator or a "surrogate" of the would-be president is immaterial; Sessions denied any such communication.

For Page's part, he insisted that his role was limited. "I never met him anywhere outside of Cleveland," he said, later adding: "I may have met him, possibly; it might have been in Cleveland."

Chris Hayes pointed out the "bizarre dissembling" that accompanies all of these revelations. All Trump associates have tended to contort themselves into lies and obfuscation when pressed for extremely basic information about their past dealings, particularly with Russian officials.

What we can gather, however, is that these conversation took place during a series of events under the umbrella The Global Partners in Diplomacy. A reception was held at Severance Hall on July 19, and various speakers (including Sessions) hosted panels over the next day. Cleveland.com covered the reception, which was attended by local leaders and politicians as well. The reception involved some 80 ambassadors from around the world, tracking with past RNC and DNC functions.

From Business Insider:

In this case, the Heritage Foundation was one of the organizations that sponsored the Global Partners in Diplomacy conference, the one at which multiple news outlets reported Sessions and Kislyak spoke following an address Sessions gave to attendees. The State Department was unable to confirm which dignitaries were in attendance at both the RNC and corresponding DNC events, or whether Kislyak attended a corresponding DNC event, which would've occurred following the initial WikiLeaks dump of hacked Democratic National Committee emails.

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About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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