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A trio of key Trump associates have taken a big step forward in the Russia investigation

Natasha Bertrand
Paul Manafort

(Paul ManafortAP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Trump associates Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Carter Page all sent letters to the House Intelligence Committee on Friday volunteering to be interviewed as part of the committee's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

While Stone, Manafort, and Page — Trump's former campaign adviser, chairman, and foreign policy adviser, respectively — all have ties to Russia, they have all denied that they helped facilitate any collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the election.

Page, who traveled to Moscow last July while he was still working with the Trump campaign, told Business Insider on Friday that he sent a letter to the committee asking them to interview him in a public session because it will give him the chance to clear up "misinformation" about his role in the campaign and connections to Russia.

"There are a lot of people who twist classified or confidential information," Page said.

When asked if he had coordinated the timing of his letter to the committee with Manafort or Stone, Page said that he had "never spoken to Paul Manafort in my life."

Yahoo reported in September that Page, who had served as an adviser "on key transactions" for Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom, met with Igor Sechin — the sanctioned CEO of Russia's state-owned oil company, Rosneft, while he was in Moscow. Page has denied ever meeting with Sechin.

carter page

(In this Friday, July 8, 2016, file photo, Carter Page, then adviser to U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks at the graduation ceremony for the New Economic School in Moscow, Russia.Associated Press/Pavel Golovkin)

Manafort, who was at the center of a media firestorm this week over revelations that he lobbied on behalf of a Russian oligarch in the mid-2000s "to benefit the Putin government," said on Friday via his spokesman Jason Maloni that he "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," Maloni added.

Manafort's work with the pro-Russia Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in 2014, has led to speculation that he was involved in changing an amendment to the GOP's platform on Ukraine that would have called for sending lethal weapons to Ukraine's army to fend off Russian aggression.

Roger Stone, meanwhile, had his lawyer send a letter to House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes on Friday morning saying that Stone "deeply resents that several members" of the committee "have intimated that he has committed treason in his political, press, and social media activities."

Stone recently acknowledged that he had private conversations on Twitter with a Russia-linked hacker, Guccifer 2.0, who was implicated in a massive cyberattack that targeted the Democratic National Commit ee last year. Stone told Business Insider earlier this month that the August interaction was so "brief and banal, I had forgotten it."

Roger Stone

(Hollis Johnson)

Stone's tweets in the days after — in which he predicted that Hillary Clinton would soon be "done" and it will "soon" be Podesta's "time in the barrel" — raised questions about whether he knew in advance that emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, would be imminently published by WikiLeaks.

"As Mr. Stone has repeatedly stated publicly since these matters have come to light, he is eager to voluntarily appear in an open session in front of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence without the necessity of a subpoena," Stone's lawyer wrote to Nunes. "Mr. Stone is anxious to redress the false and misleading way he has been portrayed by some on the Permanent Select Committee."

Nunes, the House Intelligence chairman, made waves on Friday when he decided to cancel an open hearing with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates that was set to take place next week.

"We don't welcome cutting off the public access to information when we have witnesses who are willing to testify in an open session," Nunes' co-chair, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, said on Friday.

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