Trump Campaign Chairman Offers To Testify To House Intel Committee

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Donald Trump’s presidential campaign chairman has offered to testify to the House Intelligence Committee, California Rep. Devin Nunes announced on Friday.

Nunes, who chairs the committee, said that Manafort made the offer on Thursday. He said that whether Manafort testifies in a closed or open setting is up to him.

Carter Page, a former policy adviser for the campaign, also offered on Thursday to testify, though Nunes did not mention that offer.

Manafort has been a central figure in the theories that the Trump campaign had improper relations with the Russian government during the campaign. Brought onto the Trump team last March to help wrangle delegates for Trump, Manafort has worked as a consultant for Viktor Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine and an ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Manafort has also partnered with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to Putin.

The 67-year-old operative is one of several Trump advisers who are subjects of an FBI investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin. FBI director James Comey confirmed on Monday that an investigation is being conducted, but he did not specifically name Manafort.

The White House has recently downplayed Manafort’s involvement with the campaign, calling him a “volunteer” who was not an influential member of the campaign.

Carter Page, an energy consultant who had a small role on the Trump foreign policy team, also offered to testify to the committee, he told The Daily Caller.

“I would eagerly welcome the chance to speak with the Committee to help finally set the record straight following the false evidence, illegal activities as well as other lies distributed by certain politically-motivated suspects in coordination with the Obama Administration, which defamed me and other Americans,” Page wrote in a letter to Nunes and California Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee’s top Democrat, on Thursday.

In the letter, which Page shared exclusively with TheDC, Page asserted that Schiff made false claims about him in Monday’s hearing.

In the hearing, Schiff cited the uncorroborated 35-page dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele to claim that Page made a deal with Russian oil giant Rosneft during the campaign.

“Is it a coincidence that the Russian gas company, Rosneft, sold a 19 percent share after former British intelligence officer Steele was told by Russian sources that Carter Page was offered fees on a deal of just that size?” Schiff asked in the hearing.

Page calls the assertion “complete lies.”

“Amongst many other complete lies, this excerpt from the highly inaccurate dossier concocted by the political consultant Mr. Steele remained one of the primary false allegations against me throughout much of last year,” wrote Page, who notes that the Rosneft stake was purchased by Glencore, a commodity trading company founded by Marc Rich, the billionaire fugitive who was controversially pardoned by Bill Clinton.

“I have never received any transactions fees, financial compensation, equity stake or related offers from Rosneft — in 2016 or at any point in my life,” added Page, who told TheDC that he has not received a response from the committee.

Page has also offered to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee. And earlier this week, Roger Stone, another Trump adviser who is a target of the FBI probe, said that he hopes to testify as well.

Asked whether Manafort plans to testify in a public setting or in private, a spokesman referred TheDC back to a statement issued earlier in the day. It reads:

Mr. Manafort instructed his representatives to reach out to Committee Staff and offer to provide information voluntarily regarding recent allegations about Russian interference in the election. As Mr. Manafort has always maintained, he looks forward to meeting with those conducting serious investigations of these issues to discuss the facts.

This article has been updated with additional information about Carter Page and with a statement from Manafort. 

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