Did Carter Page say he had a meeting?


Well actually no, he did not:
Did Carter Page do something wrong last summer? More specifically, did he do something wrong when he journeyed to Moscow in July 2016?

Like you, like the New York Times' Michael Schmidt, we don't know the answer to those questions. Let's make our question a bit more precise:

Has Page now said that he met with, or had a meeting with, or had a private meeting with, Russian government offcials during his trip last summer? More specifically, has he said that he met with, or had a meeting with, Arkadiy Dvorkovich, the deputy Russian prime minister, while he was on that trip?

Because the children are on a stampede, many of the boys and girls are trying to make you think that yes, Carter Page has said that. In reality, he has said no such thing.

How do we know that Carter Page hasn't said that? More specifically, how do we know that he didn't say that to a House committee last week?

How do we know he didn't say that? Let us quote from Senator Ervin, in the sagest reply ever made by a pol:

"Because [we] can understand the English language. It's [our] mother tongue."

We don't know what happened in Moscow last summer. We do know that Page didn't tell the House committee that he met with Dvorkovich when he was on that trip.

We also know that many children, including Schmidt, are trying to make you think different. Before we look at what Schmidt recently did, let's take a look at Gail Collins' new column in search of some comic relief.

The column appears in today's New York Times. What follows is vintage Collins. It also tracks a crackpot archetype, live and direct from the McCarthy era:
COLLINS (11/9/17): The Trump campaign adviser Carter Page made quite a splash with his rambling, six-hour-plus testimony before a congressional committee that demonstrated not only that he had been in contact with Russians during the campaign, but also that the man Trump picked to be one of his top coaches on foreign policy issues is … sort of nuts.
According to Collins, Page was "in contact with Russians!" As the analysts howl in pain, let's try to answer an obvious question:

So who is "sort of nuts" now?

Dearest stampeders, let's understand. There is absolutely nothing "wrong" with being "in contact with Russians!" It's rather hard to go to Moscow without committing such acts.

People are "in contact with Russians" every day of the week! The notion that this would constitute some sort of confession, some sort of offense, comes to us straight from the crackpot days when a Communist was known to be lurking under every bed.

Unless a dog is strapped to the roof of your car, there's absolutely nothing wrong with "being in contact with Russians!" The fact that Collins can author such crap—well, this helps you track the mental horizons of Collins' foppish, ridiculous newspaper.

How foppish is the Hamptonscentric world of the New York Times? This morning, in its Here to Help feature, the great newspaper helps us with this:
Here to Help

TO SAY THAT FACE MASKS have become popular is a bit of an understatement—Sephora has more than 400 varieties...
And so on. That question comes from the low-IQ world we liberals foolishly regard as smart, chic, intelligent, bright, tres au courant and upscale. Collins' ridiculous statement about Page's offense comes from that same stupid place.

That said, it's true! Carter Page has indeed admitted to "being in contact with Russians!" But has he admitted to having a meeting with Dvorkovich, the deputy prime minister, when he journeyed to Moscow in July 2016?

Not if we're speaking the English language, our own mother tongue! When Page testified to that House committee last week, he said he spoke with Dvorkovich for five or ten seconds, in passing, at a public forum where each man was giving a speech.

He said the "handshake" exchange lasted ten seconds tops. He also drew an obvious distinction about one element of our English language, the one in which Collins pretends to work:
PAGE: Again, I did not meet with him. I greeted him briefly as he was walking off the stage after his speech.


It was literally— It could not have been more than—it was well less than ten seconds, probably closer to five seconds in terms of that interaction.
That's what Page testified to last week. See pages 36 and 38 of the official transcript.

Like Schmidt, we have no way of knowing if that statement is accurate. But that's what Carter Page actually said. He said he shared a "handshake" exchange with Dvorkovich. He testified that the exchange lasted "well less than ten seconds."

We don't know if that statement is accurate, but that's what Carter Page said. Unless you read the report by Schmidt in yesterday's New York Times, in which he tried to make you think that Page admitted to something else before that House committee.

Schmidt did this by offering clownishly selective excerpts from Page's testimony. Laughably, the cherry-picked excerpts are described, in the Times headline, as "Major Takeaways From Carter Page’s Congressional Interview."

In fairness, the excerpts were certainly "taken away" from all relevant context! The first excerpt appears under this bold-faced heading, in which Schmidt makes a claim which is flatly false:
SCHMIDT (11/8/17): Mr. Page contradicted his previous public statements that he never met with Russian government officials during his trip.
Sad! Schmidt goes on to offer a cherry-picked, extremely short excerpt from Page's testimony. He eliminates the several passages where Page explains that the interaction in question lasted "well less than ten seconds"—all this in the course of claiming that he "contradicted his previous pubic statements" (specifically, those from the Chris Hayes show) during the testimony.

We're sorry, but he didn't do so. We know that because we understand the English language, which may not be the youngster Schmidt's mother tongue.

Here comes a basic fact about our English language. If Person A shares a five-second handshake with Person B in the midst of a public forum, we wouldn't normally say that these two people had thereby "had a meeting" or "had a private meeting," a term Schmidt cherry-picks.

You know that if you understand English—and if you aren't conducting a major stampede.

Like the slippery young Michael Schmidt, we have no way of knowing what Page did in Moscow. For all we know, he devised a plan for World War III with Putin and with Putin's niece!

We don't know if he did that last summer, on his Moscow trip. But we do know what he said to the House committee. He know what he said because a transcript exists, and because the English language is our mother tongue.

We also understand the look of a star chamber. Such chambers are currently being conducted, in stupid ways, all over cable TV.

Chris Matthews conducted one such chamber on Hardball Wednesday night. Long ago, he endlessly ran such operations against Clinton, Clinton, and Gore. Doe to changes in ownership, he now conducts these operations against a whole different set of targets.

Tomorrow, we'll show you what Pettypiece said. As was true way back back then, so too today:

The strivers will make fools of themselves in order to echo the views of their powerful cable news hosts. Either that, or the strivers don't understand the simplest elements of their mother tongue.

Carter Page admitted that he was in contact with Russians! Truthfully, we aren't making that up. The pundit who had the dog strapped to her brain actually filed that complaint!

Meanwhile, are face masks worth all the hype? And had you ever heard of this hype?

The New York Times provides no links to its daily "Here to Help" feature. In fairness, we would be embarrassed too, if we published garbage like that.


  1. Here goes Somerby again, self-enlisting in the bucket brigade wiping up Trump's turds that keep dropping.

  2. As someone who has subscribed to the Times for decades, I find this upsetting. In the old days, the Times was unbiased and accurate. Now, they essentially make up stuff. Reporter Schmidt didn't make a careless mistake. He purposely chose words of of context to reach a conclusion that was obviously contradicted by the entire testimony

    So, Trump isn't crazy when he complains about fake news.

    1. Don't believe everything Somerby tells you.

    2. I can't wait to see how he defends Roy Moore.

    3. I read somewhere that Trump was worth hundreds of millions, perhaps over a billion dollars (can you imagine?), so Trump isn't crazy when he complains about fake news.

    4. Are you sure you aren't confusing Trump with Wilbur Ross?

    5. Trump and Wilbur Ross don't have two dimes to rub together between them.
      BTW, speaking of "fake news", remember when the corporate-media equated "holding bankers accountable" with "punishing success"? We could have used some of the right-wing's loud-mouthed bigots, I mean "financially insecure Trump voters, shouting about fake news then.

    6. "In the old days, the Times was unbiased and accurate"
      Have you been paying attention to Somerby for the past 20 years?

    7. "I read somewhere ...."

      Troll tell.

    8. Take David in Cal's opinion of the Times with a grain of salt.

      In the past, he cited the Daily Stormer in support of one of his many racist fallacies - many of which he is in agreement with the likes of Richard Spencer. When that citation was pointed out by another commenter, David in Cal first expressed embarrassment and then doubled down, claiming the article was accurate (it wasn't).

  3. Carter Page did say he had a meeting. He said it in email to the Trump campaign staff. Don't forget that Page has been wiretapped and his communications monitored during the campaign because of his prior interactions with Russians, going back to 2013.

    Somerby likes to take these nitpicks and pretend they occurred in a vacuum. Here he gives aid and comfort to the noise machine generating confusion about Trump's involvement in Russian interference with our election.

    Somerby strikes me as a major contributor to the crazy these days. I don't understand why he is doing this, but he is no friend to liberals and Democrats. My operating theory was that he was supporting Bernie, but it is hard to see how defending Trump does that, unless Trump and Bernie are on the same side. Whatever is going on, it is deplorable that it is coming from someone who represents himself as a liberal. He is plainly not.

    1. Maybe it's click-bait for conservatives. Maybe he's lining up a Fox gig. Maybe he's bitter. Maybe he's trying to regain prominence by casting himself as the anti-liberal liberal.

    2. He said it in email to the Trump campaign staff.

      And just to be very clear here. It was an email that he failed to produce in response to the subpoena to produce all documents related to his trip.

      MR. SCHIFF: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
      Dr. Page, I want to ask you some questions about the subpoena you received.

      You were subpoenaed to produce all documents relevant to the investigation by early last month. Did you comply with the subpoena?

      MR. PAGE: I had mentioned to members of the-- members of staff that I have serious concerns about various issues related to both the disclosure but also you look at George Papadopoulos with his false statement.

      MR. SCHIFF: Dr. Page, my question is whether you complied with the subpoena that required you to produce all relevant documents to the committee. Did you comply?

      MR. PAGE: I pleaded my Fifth Amendment rights, yes.

      MR. SCHIFF: And you informed-- because this is the first that minority counsel is learning this. You pleaded your Fifth Amendment rights not to produce documents to the committee?

  4. "So who is "sort of nuts" now?"

    Why, same as always: zombies who eat that shit up and ask for more, of course.

    1. Liberal zombies, banksters, corporatists, globalization.
      banksters, globalization, corporatists, Liberal zombies.
      corporatists, banksters, Liberal zombies, globalization.
      globalization, corporatists, banksters, Liberal zombies.

    2. Yeah, you got it: zombies.

      With real and paper megaphones at the ready, anti-Trump activists let loose with what’s called “primal scream therapy”…a way to release pent-up frustration.


      This went on….


      …a couple more times…



    3. meh.


  5. I don't know if he is guilty, but Page is clearly Bullwinkle the Moose, and Natalia the Russian lawyer is Natasha the spy. Still working on who is Rocky and Boris.

  6. It's interesting that while Bob has long passed the point of "staring into the abyss" and being stubbornly wrong regarding certain things, I must admit his long standing meta argument/warning about the media was correct and has come true.

  7. Once again, Somerby finds a story about fashion and cites it as evidence that the NYT is "foppish."
    As has been pointed out time and time again, this proves nothing. EVERY newspaper that tries to appeal to the general public, including my own local small-town newspaper, has articles like this. Every newspaper has ALWAYS had articles like this. Somerby can choose to ignore this article and focus on the dozens of articles dealing with politics and real news that must have been present in that day's edition of the newspaper, but he doesn't get to use this one.
    It's an entirely bogus line of reasoning. You might as well excoriate a woman for being "foppish" because she cares about her hair and makeup.

  8. Does Somerby think that conservative women don't shop at Sephora or concern themselves with current fashion trends?

  9. Bob, a vast majority of the time, I agree with your take. But I really think you're the one who is leaving out certain facts here. Let me explain.

    Page wrote the following in a memo to staffers after the trip:

    In a private conversation, Dvorkovich expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems.

    It was for this that Adam Schiff asked Page the following questions in the hearing:

    Were you being honest in your communication with the campaign? Are you being honest in your testimony? Because it doesn’t seem possible for both to be true.

    Now, I'm never going to come here and defend Gail Collins. She's too far in the hole. But while Schmidt's phrasing is clearly poor (yes, "Russian officials" is laughably imprecise), I think that he's correct to point out that Page has contradicted himself on something important (how do you get that much information from a 5-10 second handshake?)

    Of course, it's worth pointing out that we don't know which account was an exaggeration. Page sounds like a first-class self-aggrandizing fool with a massive sense of entitlement. Just the sort of person to exaggerate his pull within the campaign (sound like anyone?) He's also got plenty of reason to underplay the meeting to Congress. So the reality is still very uncertain.

    1. According to the WaPo piece of 11/06:
      "In his July 2016 note, Page wrote that Dvorkovich had “expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to a vast range of current international problems.”"

      According to the same piece:
      "He [Page] maintained that his interaction with Dvorkovich consisted of a brief greeting, and that he had learned his views on the campaign while listening to Dvorkovich’s public address."

      Do you know something they don't? Or have you been watching TV again?

    2. Well yes, we have his direct testimony under oath.

      MR. SCHIFF: So the only person you met-- you only met with a single person from the Presidential administration and that was Dvorkovich?

      MR. PAGE: Yes, sir, again, being very careful of the distinction been met and meeting, yes.

      STRIKE ONE! He admits to a conversation with Dvorkovich.

      MR. SCHIFF: Did you write in an email to Tera Dahl and J.D. Gordon, on July 8, "On a related front, I'll send you guys a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I've received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential administration here"? Did you write that email, Dr. Page?

      MR. PAGE: I believe I did.

      STRIKE TWO! I know chairman Mao you don't understand the English language so well, so let me help you out. "OUTREACH" means a form of communication in which persons reach out; this necessarily involves some type of human interaction.

      And it goes back to the point I mentioned with listening to speeches, listening to particularly Arkadiy Dvorkovich's speech, right. Again, great insights just like I learned great insights-- even though I've met-- I've never met Donald J. Trump in my life, I've learned a lot from him, and I got great insights from that, from listening and studying the information that he --that he's provided in public forums. That's-- that is the primary, primary source.

      (yes you double talking asshole, but I never heard you say that Donald Trump reached out to you)

      MR. SCHIFF: Dr. Page, you've testified under oath that you met with no senior officials except for a hello to the person who turns out to be the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation?

      MR. PAGE: Uh-huh.

      MR. SCHIFF: You've also testified that, apart from him, you met no one from the Presidential administration, and yet on July 8, of last year, you wrote in an email to the campaign that you had incredible insights and outreach that you received from Russian legislators and senior members, plural, of the Presidential administration. Were you being honest in your communication with the campaign? Are you being honest in your testimony? Because it doesn't seem possible for both to be true.


    3. Additional not to chairman Mao.

      STRIKES are a reference to the sport called BASEBALL, an American game you're probably not familiar with.

      Note also, you should understand that most of your American audience have seen the move, The Wizard of Oz and having seen it we are not distracted by your transparent diversionary tactics. We can see the man behind the curtain.

  10. Bob Somerby, you are a senile piece of shit. Carter Page and the Trump campaign totally and brazenly and openly colluded with the Russians to fuck Hillary over. Carter Page's testimony is just the beginning of the revelations. I don't know what's wrong with you that you're still in such denial. Watch what happens.

  11. "Carter Page admitted that he was in contact with Russians! "

    BUT he denied it before. Why? Things don't;t happen in a vacuum.

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