Corey Lewandowski “Forgot” He Gave Carter Page Permission for Russia Trip

Trump campaign advisor Carter Page during a trip to Moscow in December 2016.Korotayev Artyom/TASS via ZUMA

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Carter Page, the idiot cousin of the Trump campaign, went on a trip to Russia last June. It was, he insists, a personal visit, not something done on behalf of the campaign. And he didn’t talk to any Russian officials anyway.

But guess what? Email exchanges suggest that, in fact, he did meet with Russian officials. And he reported back to the campaign about them. And he got permission from the campaign to take the trip. And he offered to step aside if Trump himself wanted to go in his place.

The Trump campaign, of course, says that Page—who was part of Trump’s five-person foreign policy team—was just some random volunteer guy that nobody ever even talked to. And Corey Lewandowski says that as Trump’s campaign manager at the time, he never gave Page permission for anything. No how, no way. Except, um, for those pesky emails:

During an interview on Fox News on Tuesday evening, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski claimed the distraction created by Father’s Day resulted in him being unable to remember an email sent to him by former campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. In the email, Page sought and ultimately received permission from Lewandowski to travel to Moscow.

“You have to remember, in the context of the campaign world––now, my memory has been refreshed, but to be clear, from what I understand and what I recall, that email was sent on June 19th of 2016, so about 18 months ago,” Lewandowski said. “It also happened to be Father’s Day on a Sunday, and it also happened to be the day prior to me being terminated from the campaign, so with all due respect, there were many other things on my mind that day other than trying to understand why a volunteer was telling me he may or may not be traveling outside the country.”

I really wonder what the story is with Trump and Russia. The full-blown collusion theory still seems pretty unlikely to me.¹ But obviously there was something. Just for starters, Trump wouldn’t be so obviously panicked by the whole thing if nothing untoward happened. And every day brings new evidence of something that some Trumpkin “forgot.” This whole thing is weird as hell.

¹Partly this is because I don’t think even Trump and his team could be so dumb. The evidence is clear that they’re pretty dumb, but are they that dumb? I dunno. Nixon was, and he was actually a pretty smart guy.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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