Good morning! Grab three pots of coffee and settle in with yr Wonkette, as we have important reading to do together! If your outside looks like our outside, it is cold and rainy and autumn and ugh and yuck, so it is a very good time to curl up with a good book, and today’s selection is dumbest Russian recruit ever Carter Page’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, which happened behind closed doors last week.
The transcript was released last night, and if you are a Twitter person, you were probably awake LOLing at it for too many hours, because SHIT IS CRAZY. Here is an example, from when Page is being cross-examined (strongly!) by Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is usually A Idiot, but who in this case decided to be a lawyer. How many times did Page get questioned by the FBI in the 2016? He does not know, because he is VERY CAUTIOUS, therefore he does not “take notes”:
Here’s another exchange with your new BFF, Democratic ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff. After his summer 2016 trip to Russia, Page emailed Trump people promising “some incredible insights and outreach I received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential administration here.” That sure does sound to us like he got some incredible insights and outreach from Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential administration there in Russia, but apparently that is because we are stupid, because Page OBVIOUSLY just meant he wanted to tell the Trump campaign about all the Russian TV shows he watched in his hotel:
Are you convinced that this testimony is your new favorite thing in the world? Are you wondering if Page is playing like he’s an actually insane dipshit on purpose? The correct answers are “yes!” and “possibly.”
So here is how this will work: HERE is the link for the testimony. We are going to make another pot of coffee and read, and as we find hilarious things to make jokes about, we will post them here, liveblog style! You will either read along with us and find your own hilarious things to post in the comments (recommended), or you will let us do all the reading for you while you keep refreshing this page every so often (lazy, but OK, fine, if you have a “job” or something). Are you ready? LET’S READ THINGS!
10:20: Good morning, Wonkette reading group! This thing is definitely going to kill us, and we are having second thoughts. The first one million pages, by the way, are Carter Page’s letter to the committee, which was simply “entered into the record” during the hearing. It is insane, and it is full of all of the “Hillary is doing Benghazi to my civil rights!” conspiracies we have come to know and love from Carter Page. It is also not necessary reading for our purposes, unless you want to.
10:25: These, by the way, are the crimes committed against Carter Page by Obama and Hillary, according to Carter Page. Please note that he only refers to the Steele Dossier as the “dodgy dossier,” because he thinks it’s clever. (You are allowed to drink each and every time he says “dodgy dossier,” as you are an adult capable of making such decisions for yourself.) We imagine he giggled himself LITERALLY TO DEATH when he came up with that zinger, but don’t worry, he came back to life:
The untold story of the 2016 election is definitely Harry Reid doing “gangster tactics.”
10:28: By the way, when we say a page number, we are using the one on the HPSCI page, not the one in the PDF. So when we say “LOL on page 16 of his letter, Carter Page starts crying about how everybody knows the Russians tried to recruit him as a spy, but subsequently found him too stupid,” that’s the page number you are looking for.
10:36: Did you know the “dodgy dossier” was a 108 MILLION DOLLAR DOMESTIC PROPAGANDA PROJECT financed by all Democrats, living and dead, including members of Congress? WHOA IF TRUE! (p. 9)
10:40: By the way, when Page talks about the person he reported to at the Trump campaign, that was J.D. GORDON. Look for that name to come up more and more as the Mueller investigation continues to make news (we are guessing).
10:44: Carter Page did accidentally confirm some things from the “dodgy dossier” in his testimony. For instance, did he meet with Russian officials in July of 2016? The first one he admits to, on page 12, is named Arkady Dvorkovich!
But now it is GOWDY TIME, something we never imagined we’d be excited about:
Carter Page’s job in the Trump campaign was responding to the BLOOD LIBELS from the DODGY DOSSIER.
10:55: Page has a very hard time doing words, in general. Trey Gowdy did not show up for Page’s bullshit, though. Today, we are all Trey Gowdy (?) trying to get Carter Page on the record on whether he has ever met Donald Trump:
He went to Trump rallies! Does that count as meeting Trump? He saw him on TV! Does that count as meeting him?
Also, WHAT CASE IN SDNY?
11:00: This is the case he appears to be talking about. He is suing Yahoo and Huffington Post for defamation in a 400-page lawsuit, and requesting $75,000 in damages. Those numbers seem … off. That is what you ask for when somebody runs over your dog, not RUINS YOUR LIFE AND PUTS A DARK CLOUD OVER YOU AT ALL TIMES. You will see later in the testimony that Carter Page has a DARK CLOUD OVER HIM AT ALL TIMES.
11:03: To be clear, it takes over two pages of testimony to figure out “Have you met Donald Trump”? (pp. 15-16)
11:07: Before his summer 2016 trip to Moscow, Carter Page thinks he recalls remembering maybe possibly telling J.D. Gordon, Corey Lewandowski and Hope Hicks about it. ALLEGEDLY. (p. 19)
11:09: Carter Page doesn’t know what “coordination,” “collusion” or “conspiracy” means, he just knows his mom told him he’s not ‘sposed to do them, therefore he doesn’t, because he is a very good boy:
According to his “correct biography,” Carter Page has never coordinated lunch with the Russians.
11:16: Now it’s time for Adam Schiff to fuck with Carter Page’s head over whether he’s allowed to plead the Fifth on turning over DOCUMENTS, even as he is blabbering for one million hours before the committee. His reasoning seems to be that he’s worried that whatever documents/testimony he might give will conflict with whatever the government has ILLEGALLY STOLED from his computer (by getting a legal FISA warrant). In other words, he is worried he’s going to perjure himself by telling obvious lies:
11:24: Carter Page would like to plead the Fifth, but only on the documents that might get him in big trouble mister:
Also he does not want to share documents that will get him domestic terroristed.
11:27: We are very worried Carter Page is going to end up being the first person ever to plead insanity in a Congressional hearing.
11:32: Carter Page Travel Tips!
Ask Carter Page how you also can save $300 on a one hour call!
11:35: “Did you use encrypted apps to hide your Russian communications?”
“THE DODGY DOSSIER TRIED TO KILL ME.”
“So did you try to conceal your communications?”
“I AM A GOOD BOY!”
We are for serious wondering (again) if he is playing crazy for a particular reason. Maybe Mueller flipped him long ago and this is the just the character he’s supposed to play.
11:39: Adam Schiff confronts Page (p. 38) with an email he sent to Trump people after his July 2016 Moscow trip. It says “Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich” had “expressed strong support for Trump,” which is very interesting considering all the other Russians who were expressing strong support for Trump at that time, directly to members of the Trump campaign! Donald Trump Jr., for example!
Schiff would like to know how this squares with how five seconds ago Page said he had no private meetings with any Russians on that trip:
He listens to speeches, because he is a SCHOLAR! But he doesn’t want to give you information about the speeches he has heard, because THE DODGY DOSSIER WILL TRY TO KILL HIM AGAIN.
11:48: (Page 40):
SCHIFF: Did you send an email to J.D. Gordon and Tera Dahl saying you would share “incredible insights and outreach” you got from “a few Russian legislators and senior members of the presidential administration?”
SCHIFF: But I thought you only met with one Russ-
PAGE: POSITIVE FEELINGS RUSSIAN NEWSPAPERS BARACK OBAMA BERLIN.
SCHIFF: Dr. Page …
Every word of this is unmitigated apeshit.
11:52: On page 42, Page refers to starting his “personal legal training,” because he has been reading Lawyerin’ Fer Dummies, and this is why he doesn’t need a lawyer present for anything he does.
11:55: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS REDACTION?
11:58: Trey Gowdy is tired of how bad at words Carter Page is again:
Gowdy references Page’s earlier troubles with the words, “coordination,” “collusion,” and “conspiracy,” and this time adds “contact” to the list. In order to drive his point home, Gowdy correctly uses the word “gravamen.” Golly, Trey Gowdy is just impressing us all over today!
We feel dirty.
12:04: Gowdy is not prepared to let Carter Page claim pain and suffering at the hands of the DODGY DOSSIER on behalf of the Trump Campaign and also America:
12:06: HERE IS THE PART WHERE TREY GOWDY ACCUSES CARTER PAGE OF BEING A “BIRTHER” ON RUSSIAN INFLUENCE IN THE 2016 ELECTION, AND WE CANNOT EVEN:
Hey, know who else is a birther, both on Russian election interference, and also on the original meaning of “birther”? MMHMM.
Anyway, Carter Page’s answer is that yes, he is a birther on Russian interference.
12:09: Carter Page believes the DODGY DOSSIER’S LIES ABOUT HIM had more influence on the 2016 election than the Russians:
12:15: Page tells Adam Schiff he hasn’t been able to keep contact with many of his Russian friends because after the dodgy dossier tried to kill him, it made him “radioactive.” Awwwwwwww. (p. 58)
12:17: Assorted interjections from Adam Schiff, in response to Carter Page’s constant yip-yapping filibustering about what a good boy he is:
“Dr. Page, I’m not asking you if you were called by the Wall Street Journal.”
“Well, I appreciate your assurances, Dr. Page. But I would much rather see the documents.”
“Dr. Page, I’m really not asking about your interactions with Harvard.”
“Dr. Page, I’m not really asking about dark clouds.”
NO FOR REAL:
Page again said anything they were planning was “put in abeyance given the darkest of dark clouds that was put over my head.” What a fucking Eeyore, like if Eeyore was the dumbest Russian intelligence asset who ever lived.
12:33: Carter Page is a member of Delta Sky Miles, in case you are looking at his travel expenses and wondering how he got such a good deal.
12:38: Carter Page cannot remember his conversations with George Papadopoulos about his Russian-linked perfesser friend, due to how Carter Page has been feeling triggered for a little over a year now:
12:43: Adam Schiff would like to get more clear on the Moscow trip Carter Page took that was not part of the campaign, but which he debriefed the campaign on, and how he didn’t meet with any important Russians there, despite how he told the campaign he looked forward to sharing MANY EXCITING INFORMATIONS from all the important Russians he met there. EXPLAIN, PLEASE:
Carter Page was just sitting in the hotel room, watching the Russian versions of Maury and Judge Marilyn Milian, and because he is a SCHOLAR, this gave him many insights and outreach to share with the campaign. We are for sure believing every bit of this!
12:50: Page says it doesn’t matter what insights or outreaches he had to share, because right after his Moscow trip (July 2016) the DODGY DOSSIER TRIED TO KILL HIM (September 2016). (p. 84)
12:52: YOU GUYS, WE ARE MORE THAN HALFWAY THROUGH.
BRB ORDERING PIZZA.
12:55: Jackie Speier would like to know whether Page has met with Robert Mueller. He doesn’t want to talk about it, so we are going to guess YUP. He also doesn’t want to talk about the letter he sent to the House Intel Committee and also to special counsel Mueller, so can we please keep this part of our conversation a secret? Speier not having it:
1:04: Speier’s questioning was followed by Rep. Mike Quigley, who had questions about Viktor Podobnyy, the Russian spy who tried to recruit Carter Page in 2013, only to realize that Carter Page is stupid. Page says he only agreed to meet with Podobnyy for an afternoon Coca-Cola because he likes to “interact with people from different cultures,” or he used to, before the DODGY DOSSIER TRIED TO … well you know. (p. 94)
1:12: “Did the Russian spy try to talk to you about Gazprom (the big Russian oil bidness)?”
“PFFFFFFFFT, like that little Russian spy knows anything about Gazprom. CARTER PAGE KNOWS ABOUT GAZPROM. CARTER PAGE IS THE REAL RUSSIAN SPY. Wait, have I said too much?”
1:17: Carter Page says he does not know Igor Sechin, the hed of Russian oil giant Rosneft, but he knows their investor relations guy. He says he doesn’t remember talking about sanctions with that guy, but who knows, he probably did. (p. 102)
After that (p. 103) Adam Schiff asked again if Carter Page is FUCKING KIDDING RIGHT NOW about trying to testify for one million hours but plead the Fifth on DOCUMENTS. This time, though, GOP Rep. Mike Conaway made very clear that he agrees Page still better cough up all the fucking documents they fucking asked for:
But he doesn’t WANNA give up documents, because he doesn’t wanna get in TROUBLE! Hasn’t he clearly said that when the government illegally (legally) did “wire tapps” to his fanny, they probably took documents from him that would be different from whatever bullshit he offered to the committee? What a pickle to be in, and all because Hillary Clinton did Whitewater to his civil rights, just because he is Catholic :(
1:25: QUIGLEY: Did you meet with your Rosneft buddy when you went to Russia last year?
QUIGLEY: Do you own any stake in Rosneft?
QUIGLEY: Do you own any stake in Gazprom?
PAGE: I did until HARRY REID TRIED TO KILL ME WITH GANGSTER MOVES.
SCHIFF: Did you sext your Rosneft buddy to tell him you were coming to Russia?
PAGE: Yes. No. Maybe. We watched the sports together in Russia!
SCHIFF: Do you have your friend’s phone number?
SCHIFF: Did you have it when you went on your trip?
PAGE: Uh huh.
SCHIFF: Hmmmm, that’s funny, because the Dodgy Dossier says you secretly met with your friend’s boss Sechin, who is under sanctions, in Russia.
PAGE: I PLEAD THE FIFTH SELECTIVELY SOME MORE.
SCHIFF: Did you talk to your buddy after your trip?
PAGE: Yes. No. Maybe. Dunno.
That is only a slight paraphrase of pages 109-111.
1:34: SCHIFF: The Dodgy Dossier says you met with people from the Russian presidential administration on your trip.
PAGE: That’s crazy!
SCHIFF: Your emails to the Trump campaign say you met with people from the Russian presidential administration on your trip.
PAGE: I’m crazy!
1:37: Carter Page, world’s dumbest international man of mystery, does not have an address. DOES HE EVEN EXIST?
OK, Wonkette would like to go on record (as if it’s necessary) to say people should NOT BE DEATH THREATING OR TERRORISTING CARTER PAGE.
Also, we are not sure we believe him, unless his beloved Mother Russia is death threating him because he knows too much.
Anyway, he is sleeping on one of his friends’ couches.
1:41: Oh my god, Carter Page cannot even remember what all couches he has been sleeping on. All he knows is he hasn’t been slumber partying with any Russians, if that is what you are asking:
Carter Page, who ain’t got not job, also does not remember exactly why he went to Russia in December of 2016, but it definitely wasn’t because he wanted to look at the help wanted ads in Red Square. He is an entrepreneur after all!
The dodgy dossier can’t try to kill him in Russia.
1:48: ERIC SWALWELL: Who did you meet with in Russia in December 2016?
PAGE: Just people.
SWALWELL: NAMES, YOU DICK.
PAGE: The Russian government guy again. And the Rosneft guy again, you know, like right around when that weird Rosneft sale mentioned in the Dodgy Dossier was happening. A Russian banking guy.
SWALWELL: NAME OF RUSSIAN BANKING GUY, PLEASE.
SWALWELL: Which Russian state-owned bank, since they are literally all arms of the Russian government?
PAGE: Can you redact this?
SWALWELL: Fuck you.
(Again, just lightly paraphrasing here!)
First, he didn’t know the guy’s name, and now they are “old friends.” Gotcha.
Tom Rooney, Republican of Florida, was presiding at that point, and literally everybody on both sides of the aisle agreed that GIVE US THE FUCKING NAME, PLEASE.
Page agreed, after offering lots more words like these:
So Page had lunch in Moscow with his Bank Of America/Merrill Lynch Russian friend and his Rosneft friend and NO, HE DOES NOT REMEMBER WHERE. Probably Cracker Barrel. He had lunch with another Russian, whose name is [REDACTED] and they ate [STEAK].
2:04: Oh holy fuck, this is ridiculous. Again, paraphrasing from page 127:
SWALWELL: Did you fly right back to America after your December 2016 trip?
PAGE: Yes. No. Maybe. I mean maybe I had a layover.
SWALWELL: I’m not asking about layovers.
PAGE: Oh maybe I went to London right after or just before.
SWALWELL: Oh maybe.
SWALWELL: Did you meet any Russians there?
PAGE: Unfair question!
SWALWELL: Oh Jesus fuck.
SWALWELL: This was right after the election, and now you’re meeting with another Russian in London.
PAGE: Maybe it was London.
SWALWELL: Oh Jesus fuck.
2:12: Carter Page cannot remember any of the hotels he stays in when he’s in Russia or London or the United States, because he moves around a lot because of how he always gets terroristed. He is only safe in Russia and in Chris Hayes’s MSNBC studio. (p. 129)
2:23: Carter Page may or may not have discussed the sale of a stake in Rosneft with his Russian buddies, and he may or may not have discussed American sanctions on Russia, but all of this was no big deal and it definitely didn’t happen, except maybe it did. THEY WERE WATCHING SOCCER AT THE TIME. (pp. 138-141)
2:27: Here, we are assuming approximately FOUR HOURS into the hearing, are GOP Rep. Rooney and Carter Page, talking about how very helpful Page has been, and Page asserting that he really hopes they get to the contents of his letter, which are the REAL issue, namely how all the dodgy dossier news about him is a conspiracy created by Hillary Clinton to do #Pizzagate to his Catholic civil rights. We’re gonna get to that, right?
“Gotcha,” said the Republican congressman.
2:31: Time to talk about the nondisclosure agreement the Trump campaign made Page sign! Paraphrasing for funnies:
SWALWELL: Who made you sign it?
PAGE: Don’t wanna.
SWALWELL: Chairman, he’s being a shit again.
ROONEY: Answer it.
PAGE: Don’t wanna get in trouble.
SWALWELL: “Congress trumps the NDA.”
ROONEY: Does it, though? Oh wait it does, ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION.
PAGE: Sam Clovis.
WONKETTE: Oh, you mean this Sam Clovis? The one who just pulled out of being Trump’s nominee to be the president of science at the USDA because he’s all eat up in the Mueller investigation? Huh!
2:37: SWALWELL: Have you said any lies here because you’re worried about violating the NDA?
PAGE: “To the best of my recollection, no.” IN OTHER WORDS MAYBE.
Page added that he’s only worried about making sure his answers match what the Obama NSA got from the secret wire tapp they put in his butt:
Also he is worried that something he might say might end up hurting somebody else from the Trump campaign, because the dodgy dossier might try to kill them too:
2:42: Page tells Swalwell (p. 150) that he also told Sam Clovis about his trip to Moscow beforehand, so add him to the list that also includes Corey Lewandowski, J.D. Gordon, Hope Hicks and Jeff Sessions.
2:45: Did Page talk to the Russian ambassador about Russian sanctions during the four seconds they shook hands at the Republican convention? SOLID MAYBE!
Oh. My. God.
Page comes back to this “tax policy” analogy three million times in his testimony, as if a typical American meet and greet goes like this:
PERSON ONE: How it’s hangin’ bro!
PERSON TWO: Oh, you know, tax policy.
PERSON ONE: I know that’s right. Well anyway, nice to piss next to you!
Is that how frequently sanctions come up during casual handshakes in Russia, or is it something about Carter Page?
2:59: We have not abandoned you, we just hit a really boring part about eating breakfast with Sam Clovis and Carter Page cannot remember anything about it. Also, this is Sam Clovis, if you’d like to imagine having breakfast across from him:
You would enjoy having him as your waffle buddy, admit it.
3:06: By the way, if you are enjoying this, click below to TIP YOUR BARTENDER.
3:17: OK, where are we? We are 40 PAGES FROM THE END, HATERS.
3:19: Carter Page never got to tell the Trump campaign all the delicious outreaches and insights he got from watching Russian “Wheel Of Fortune,” because that was when Hillary started hate-criming him :(
3:21: CARTER PAGE: “I don’t recall I don’t recall I don’t recall I don’t recall I don’t recall!”
3:24: Ooh! So on page 170, we learn that, JUST LIKE GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS DID, Carter Page was floating the idea of sending Donald Trump to Russia in his place on his Moscow trip, to “raise the temperature a little bit.” That is weird, since we thought Page was just going to Russia to speak at a graduation and that it had nothing to do with the campaign. That would be like yr Wonkette saying, “Hey Editrix Rebecca, I don’t feel like going to this charity event in Memphis that has nothing to do with Wonkette, would you like to fly in from Montana to RAISE THE TEMPERATURE?”
3:33: So basically Russians were cultivating George Papadopoulos, and Russians were cultivating Carter Page, and some of them may have been the same Russians, but who knows. Weird how Russians were tickling the dicks of half of Trump’s foreign policy team! Wonder what they wanted?
3:35: Barreling toward the end, Carter Page is doing a soliloquy and sharing that he just wishes the American media was more honest, like RT or Sputnik, and also declaring that “innocent” isn’t even a strong enough word for how innocent he is.
He also says he’s being going to law classes with Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, and that Mook has “admitted” that they used the DODGY DOSSIER (which tried to kill him) as a “distraction” from the DNC/Podesta hacks. Of course, the words Page says don’t remotely suggest Mook has admitted any such thing:
Good job trying to distract everyone by talking about Robby Mook, though!
3:44: WAIT, WHY IS CARTER PAGE LYING ABOUT BUDAPEST WHILE ADAM SCHIFF IS ASKING HIM ABOUT A TRIP TO BRUSSELS?
In response to this Adam Schiff, prosecutor extraordinaire, is like “WHAT IS THIS ABOUT BUDAPEST?”
That is just fucking bizarre. Page says he met with people from the Hungarian government, but he can’t remember whom, and that they talked about “foreign policy” things, but he can’t remember what. CARTER PAGE’S BRAIN PLEADS THE FIFTH ON HUNGARY TRIP!
By the way, there have long been rumblings that Budapest (and Hungary in general) is an important key to understanding the full Trump-Russia conspiracy. Wonkette doesn’t know how perfect this reporting on the “Budapest Bridge” is, but it’s been out there a while. Hungary’s government is authoritarian and very pro-Russian, and according to that link, J.D. Gordon (whom Page answered to!) has been there SIX TIMES, including during the campaign. Click and save it for later!
3:59: Carter Page may have said hello to somebody at a cafe in Budapest, but Carter Page does not remember if Carter Page did that for sure. And he still talks to a “scholar” (probably a spy) from there, just like he still talks to Russian “scholars” (spies probably), because he is a “scholar” (the dumbest fucking spy who ever lived).
4:01: Once more, with feeling, why does Carter Page not remember anything about anybody he’s ever met? BECAUSE TRIGGERED BY HILLARY CLINTON FOR 15 MONTHS NOW:
Also, Carter Page had nothing to do with the Trump campaign changing the RNC platform to give Russia a reacharound and screw Ukraine, he was only expressing HIS FEELINGS when he said “great work” to all his Trump campaign friends who helped change the RNC platform to that effect:
4:11: AND FINALLY! One time Steve Bannon told Carter Page not to go on MSNBC and act like he was part of the campaign. This was just after the DODGE DART DODGY DOSSIER was released in January.
Also, he has never used an alias, except now he uses aliases, because the DODGY DOSSIER TRIED TO KILL HIM.
Did we mention that the DODGY DOSSIER TRIED TO KILL HIM?
WELL DID WE?
YOU’RE NOT REPORTING IT, KATY TUR, BUT IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS STORY, THAT THE DODGY DOSSIER TRIED TO KILL HIM.
And with that, folks, we are done with this 4305 word liveblog.
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