Carter Page was initially referred by New York State Republican Chairman Ed Cox, the son-in-law of President Richard Nixon. Sam Clovis, a top official on the Trump campaign then used Google search to validate Mr. Cox’s referral according to the Washington Post.
While Carter Page looked impressive on paper, the google search failed to discover that in 2013, Page met with Russian spies who claimed they would steer energy business his way. (Page maintains that he did not know these men were spies.)
But what the Google search had not shown was that Page had been on the FBI’s radar since at least 2013, when Russian officials allegedly tried to use him to get information about the energy business.By the summer of 2016, Page, who had been recently named as a Trump adviser, was under surveillance by FBI agents who suspected that he may have been acting as an agent of the Kremlin.
The businessman, Carter Page, met with one of three Russians who were eventually charged with being undeclared officers with Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the S.V.R. The F.B.I. interviewed Mr. Page in 2013 as part of an investigation into the spy ring, but decided that he had not known the man was a spy, and the bureau never accused Mr. Page of wrongdoing.
During his relationship with these spies, he provided them materials linked to the energy business. The FBI recorded the Russians referring to the Page as an 'idiot'.
What were the due diligence protocols being used by the Trump administration to gauge people?
Another longtime campaign official put it this way: “Anyone who came to us with a pulse, a résumé and seemed legit would be welcomed.” We were not exactly making due diligence the highest priority,” another campaign veteran added.
This was not the first occasion that the Trump White House failed to perform due diligence on one of its hires.
The failure to properly vet National Security Adviser Mike Flynn has devastated the Trump Administration since its inception. Following Mr. Flynn’s termination for potential illegal communications with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, the Trump Administration blamed President Obama for failing to properly vet him.